Biden, Xi for leaders in to address Asia-Pacific on trade, COVID recovery

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with US Vice President Joe Biden (L) in the Great Hall of the people in Beijing Dec 4, 2013. REUTERS/Lintao Zhang/Pool//File Photo

WELLINGTON, Nov. 12 (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping expected to address leaders of the Pacific Rim late on Friday amid increased regional trade and geopolitical tensions.

China set the tone for the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting this week, with Xi warning in a video recording on Thursday that the region must not return to the tensions of the era of the Cold War.

The comment was seen as a reference to the efforts of the United States and its regional allies to counter what they see as China’s growing coercive economic and military influence.

Biden is expected to address the meeting die: begins midnight New Zealand time, the White House confirmed in a statement, adding that he will discuss ongoing efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic and support global economic recovery.

“President’s Participation Shows America’s Commitment to the Indo-Pacific” region and on multilateral cooperation,” the statement said.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also confirmed that Xi will speak at the meeting via video link.

Xi will be the . to take virtual podium a day after the ruling communist party in China a rare resolution approved die bolstered his status and authority, increasing the likelihood of securing an unprecedented third leadership term next year.

The APEC meeting is coming of a long-awaited online top between Biden and Xi on Monday, if the super powers are trying to spiral into conflict between growing tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

APEC is the last multilateral meeting of the year and comes after a flurry of meetings, including the high-profile G20 summit in Rome and the COP26 climate meeting in Glasgow, Scotland.

APEC in 2021 used to be hosted whole online due to New Zealand’s tough pandemic control measures and saw political and business leaders emphasize the need until fight COVID-19, decarbonize economies and grow sustainable.

During a session on Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated the importance of vaccinations in the fight against the pandemic. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern then paid tribute to the outgoing Chancellor.

The APEC summit will be held in Thailand next year.

The United States has offered to host the 2023 round of APEC Meetings for the first time in over a decade, although no consensus has been reached on this proposal, officials have said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Canadian President Justin Trudeau are also expected to speak at the meeting.

Additional reporting by Steve Holland and Andrea Shalal in Washington; adaptation by Michael Perry

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Read More: World News

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