Shifting China-US relations a key topic at APEC

World Today

APEC meetings are already underway, and business leaders and heads-of-government are tackling the big economic issues of the Asia-Pacific region.

The shifting role of China and the U-S has also been in sharp focus. CGTN’s Rian Maelzer reports from Da Nang, Vietnam.

It may be dubbed the APEC CEO summit. But geopolitics was never going to be far from the discussions.

As U.S. president Donald Trump continued his Asia tour meeting President Xi Jinping in China, the shifting roles of the two major powers was a key topic.

“We’re going to see a great shift from allies feeling like they could count on the U.S. for the long term, to allies hedging their bets, and many feeling like China is the better bet for them, the safer bet for them,” said Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group.

The chief executive of Hong Kong SAR, and presidents of Peru and the Philippines all made strident cases for trade liberalization over protectionism.

“The dark clouds will always dissipate,” President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski of Peru said. “Sometimes it takes a while. I would say all APEC has to do is to keep going, to keep pushing.”

“Diversity will always pull us in separate directions, but regional integration anchored upon open and free trade will allow us to maximize opportunities,” said President Rodrigo Duterte of The Philippines.

Many speakers focused on the need for more inclusive growth, making sure no sectors of society, countries or regions are left behind.

Speakers also emphasized the need for growth not only to be strong, but also inclusive and sustainable.

“We in this bank attach great importance to promoting investment in infrastructure, without leaving a big footprint on the environment,” Jin Liqun, president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank said. “Indeed, we want to improve the environment, we want to address climate change, and to deal with the consequences of climate change so that the development could really be sustained.”

One theme recurring through the first two days was how so-called disruptive technologies such as automation, robotics and artificial intelligence can bring both opportunities, but also very real worries about the impact it will have on workforces, including many in the hall attending the CEO summit.