Scary Beginning for PNG and Fiji

APEC Ends Over Geopolitical Tensions

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit was prematurely wrapped up due to the rising geopolitical tensions among the powerful nations. Although the meeting was scheduled to end with a joint declaration summarizing the agreements made, this tradition was abandoned for the first time since 1989.

Divergent Views on Trade and Investment

The 21 member nations failed to reach a consensus on their approach to trade and investment, mainly due to conflicting views between the United States and China. The escalating trade war has driven a wedge between these countries, making it difficult for them to agree on the wording of the joint statement.

Peter O’Neill’s Announcement

Peter O’Neill, the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, host of the APEC meeting, maintained that all members had managed to agree on the major points of the discussion. However, he conceded they were unable to arrive at a consensus due to different interpretations of “free and open trade.”

First Public Acknowledgement of Issues

O’Neill’s statement marked the first public recognition of the issues that have hindered discussions within the APEC. It highlighted the extent to which confrontational trade relations between the United States and China could disrupt cohesive economic discussions on a global level.

China-US Trade Frictions Overshadow APEC

The trade dispute between the United States and China dominated the APEC discussions, hampering efforts to foster cooperation among the member nations. Vice President Mike Pence and President Xi Jinping illustrated their political stances, reflecting deep-seated disagreements in trade and investment matters.

Remarks from Mike Pence and Xi Jinping

Vice President Mike Pence criticized China’s trade practices and influence in the region, accusing Beijing of intellectual property theft, unfair trade practices, and aggressive moves in the South China Sea—statements that met strong resistance from China. On the other hand, Xi Jinping warned against escalating trade tensions and the resultant destruction to global trade systems.

Discussions on More Positive Topics

Amidst the discord, more positive topics were revisited during the APEC. Attention was diverted to issues like women’s empowerment in the economic sphere, digitization, and the environment. These discussions aimed to foster inclusivity and sustainable development as key themes for APEC’s future progress.

Without a concluding statement due to unresolved geopolitical tensions, the APEC meeting simply resorted to moving on. The Pacific Rim nations will, indeed, need to reconcile their disagreements before the next meeting.


Popular Categories

Latest News

Search the website