Summit in Bangkok: APEC countries condemn Ukraine war

Status: 19.11.2022 09:00 a.m

In Bangkok, the APEC countries reached a final declaration. The majority of them condemned the Russian attack on Ukraine. On the sidelines, US Vice President Harris met China’s head of state Xi.

In Bangkok, the member states of the Asia-Pacific Economic Community APEC agreed on a joint final declaration, despite major differences on the Russian war against Ukraine. This was announced by Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha as host at the end of the two-day summit.

In the statement, the vast majority of countries condemned the Ukraine war. At the same time, however, it says that there are “other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions”. The G20 group of leading industrialized and emerging countries had already brought about a similarly worded final declaration at their summit in Bali a few days ago.

Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Beloussov represented Russia in Bangkok instead of President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin chief had already stayed away from the two previous summits in Southeast Asia – ASEAN in Cambodia and G20 in Indonesia.

Sustainable economic growth concept

At the same time, the 21 APEC countries adopted a concept for a circular green economy called “Bangkok Targets,” Prayut said. This was the major goal of the Thai government, which sees the initiative as a legacy of its APEC chairmanship. The aim is sustainable economic growth for the period after the corona pandemic. In addition, the participants spoke out in favor of free and fair trade in the Pacific region.

Founded in 1989, the organization has set itself the goal of establishing a free trade zone in the Asia-Pacific region and strengthening economic growth in the member states by removing trade barriers. However, APEC resolutions are not binding, which is considered a weak point of the organization.

Well over a third of the world’s population lives in the APEC countries. Together, the block generates around 60 percent of global gross domestic product. The USA has now taken over the presidency for the coming year. Prayut delegated leadership of the organization for 2023 to US Vice President Kamala Harris. Harris announced that the next APEC summit would be held in San Francisco starting November 12, 2023.

US Vice Harris meets China’s head of state Xi

On the sidelines of the summit, Harris met briefly with China’s head of state and party leader Xi Jinping. Xi expressed his hope for better relations with the US. “Hopefully, both sides will advance mutual understanding, reduce misunderstandings and miscalculations, and jointly put US-China relations on a healthy and stable course,” Chinese state television quoted the president as saying.

Harris is now traveling on to the Philippines. On Tuesday she wants to visit Puerto Princesa in the island province of Palawan in the west of the country and meet there with residents, fishermen and representatives of the coast guard. Palawan is located near the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. In addition to the Philippines, other states claim parts of the islands. China claims the entire archipelago for itself. According to observers, Beijing could see Harris’ visit as a provocation.

APEC members condemn Ukraine war

tagesschau24 09:00 a.m., 19.11.2022

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