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China had last hosted the APEC Summit in 2001.
At this year’s summit, the Chinese President will outline “China’s positions on the building of an open economic pattern in the Asia-Pacific and on the joint building of Asia-Pacific partnerships,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said last week.
China will press for an “APEC information exchange” for free trade areas to increase transparency among the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) members and the China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) members.
The concluding Senior Officials’ Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2014 opened in Beijing on Wednesday.
The officials met to prepare for the upcoming APEC events to follow: the APEC Ministerial Meeting, APEC CEO Summit, APEC Business Advisory Council Dialogue with Leaders, and the 22nd APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) scheduled on Nov. 10-11.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will chair the leaders meet to be attended by a host of world leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putting and US President Barack Obama. The leaders will sign an anti-graft agreement during the Summit, China said last month.
Global powerhouses like China and the US have a growing engagement with the region.
In 2013, 60 per cent of China’s total foreign trade was with APEC members while 69 per cent of China’s outbound investment flowed to APEC members.
China has also launched massive growth-driver projects for the region: the rebuilding of the Silk Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and the crucial Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank. During the APEC Summit, Beijing will continue negotiations with countries like Australia and South Korea, notable absentees from the list of nations who signed up for the China-led Bank.
Meanwhile, China will also push for a roadmap on the massive free trade treaty: Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).
“China will work to encourage all parties to agree on the extension — from 2016 to 2018 — of the commitment reached by APEC leaders previously that any side should not raise new trade and investment barriers,” Wang Shouwen, China’s Assistant Minister of Commerce, told a press conference on Tuesday.
The 21-member APEC has been the most influential economic cooperation bloc in the Asian-Pacific region. Its members, including the United States, China, Japan and Russia, account for over half of the world’s economic output, 40 per cent of the world’s population, and 46 per cent of total global trade.