(Xinhua) 22:23, November 21, 2016
LIMA, Nov. 21 — Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the 24th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting from Nov. 19-20 in Lima, capital of Peru. Here is a list of the highlights of his attendance.
On Saturday, the Chinese president delivered a keynote speech at the APEC CEO summit, calling for pushing forward the building of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), as protectionism has dented global trade and economic integration.
The FTAAP “is a strategic initiative critical for the long-term prosperity of the Asia-Pacific,” said Xi.
“We should firmly pursue the FTAAP as an institutional mechanism for ensuring an open economy in the Asia-Pacific,” he told global business leaders.
The FTAAP process was launched at the 2014 APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Beijing with the endorsement of a roadmap. A “collective strategic study” was conducted subsequently, as agreed by the APEC members, and the result should be reported to the economic leaders by the end of 2016.
“The Asia-Pacific is under similar pressure and is grappling with such challenges as the fragmentation of regional economic cooperation,” Xi said.
After the APEC CEO Summit, the Chinese president, along with other APEC leaders, held dialogue with representatives of the APEC Business Advisory Council, exchanging views on the FTAAP, economic integration in the Asia-Pacific, connectivity and the Chinese economy.
Speaking at the 24th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting on Sunday, Xi urged APEC members to stay committed to taking economic globalization forward with vigorous measures, despite increasing setbacks around the world.
Highlighting the APEC’s role as a pioneer, leader and trailblazer of economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific and the world at large, Xi called on APEC members to leverage the Asia-Pacific’s role as a growth engine and work for an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy.
Currently, the world economy still finds itself in profound adjustment, with weak recovery and more divergent growth, said Xi, adding that economic globalization has encountered setbacks, as evidenced by sluggish international trade and investment and rising protectionism.
Citing the blueprint for strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive world economic growth produced by the G20 Hangzhou Summit in September, the Chinese president said it embodies the spirit of partnership to jointly rise to challenges as well as the commitment to common development.
At the high-level gathering of APEC economic leaders, Xi called on the APEC economies to stay committed to taking economic globalization forward, increasing openness in the Asia-Pacific economy, breaking bottlenecks in regional connectivity and blazing new trails in reform and innovation.
“We need to stick to our agenda and take more effective actions to realize the FTAAP at an early date, thus bringing about an Asia-Pacific economy with greater openness,” said the Chinese president.
He recalled that China has given priority to opening up to the Asia-Pacific over the past 25 years since it joined the APEC, and pledged to work with other parties to increase openness, pursue regional economic integration and connectivity, advance reform and innovation, and jointly write an exciting chapter of Asia-Pacific cooperation.
On the sidelines of the APEC Meeting, President Xi also held bilateral talks with leaders of some countries.
Talking with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Saturday, Xi called for joint efforts by China and Russia to push forward the FTAAP process, saying that both sides should fully implement the consensus reached at the 2014 APEC Beijing meeting and other meetings in recent years.
He underlined the need for China-Russia cooperation under the APEC framework in a bid to promote the bloc to contribute more to regional and global economic growth.
Echoing Xi’s remarks, Putin said Russia and China should strengthen coordination and collaboration in APEC and other multilateral mechanisms.
Hailing good momentum of bilateral economic ties and achievements they have scored in high and new technology, the Russian president stressed that Russia is looking forward to working with China to strengthen collaboration between the Belt and Road Initiative and the EEU.
When meeting with Barack Obama on Saturday, Xi spoke highly of the U.S. president’s endeavor in developing bilateral ties, especially their joint decision to build a new type of China-U.S. major country relations that has guided the two countries to achieve significant progress in bilateral ties.
Recalling his close contacts with Xi in recent years, Obama said he and Xi have established a candid, friendly and constructive relationship and enhanced mutual trust.
In more than three years, the United States and China have joined hands to confront challenges and effectively managed differences, while bilateral consultation and cooperation mechanisms have yielded rich results, said Obama.
The U.S. side is ready to develop a more sustained, fruitful relationship with China, said Obama.
During his meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday, Xi praised Duterte’s visit to China last month, saying it achieved full improvement of China-Philippines relations, opened a new chapter for bilateral ties and injected positive energy into regional peace and stability.
On maritime issues, Xi urged the two sides to actively mull maritime cooperation and promote positive interaction on the sea, and thus jointly transform the South China Sea issue into an opportunity for bilateral friendly cooperation.
For his part, Duterte spoke highly of his successful visit to China last month, saying it produced rich results.
The Philippines follows an independent foreign policy and is willing to be friends with “brotherly” China forever, said the president.
The Philippines, he added, is willing to properly address maritime issues with China through dialogue and consultation, so as to jointly safeguard the momentum of improvement and development in bilateral relations.
During the APEC Meeting, Xi also met with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Leung Chun-ying, chief executive of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Xi’s attendance at the APEC Meeting and his remarks have received warm and positive response from world media, experts and netizens. Mario Mongilardi, president of the Lima Chamber of Commerce, believed Xi sent an encouraging message to the business communities of the 21 APEC members.
“The president of China made an extraordinary speech today. He laid out the bases for the future growth of the world economy,” Mongilardi told Xinhua in an interview following the summit.
Luis Delgado, a professor of social studies at the state University of Carabobo in northern Venezuela, said “the speech marks the route the Chinese government is proposing to reactivate the world economy,” and indicates “how the Asia-Pacific region can be the vanguard in the reactivation of the world economy.”
On social media, netizens speak highly of Xi’s speech and hail China’s effort to push forward the process of FTAAP.
“China is gearing itself to fill a possible U.S.-shaped hole and led the way on global trade,” said Twitter user Christel Quek. “(There is) no other better ways. Partner together makes the world more peaceful. China makes a right move,” said Facebook user Alex Ong.