BEIJING, Nov. 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Chinese President Xi Jinping wrapped up the 17th meeting of the G20 Leaders’ Summit, the 29th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and his official visit to Thailand on Saturday afternoon and left the country, returning to China, Chinese Central Television reported. The week-long trip, with a packed diplomatic schedule, offered Chinese wisdom and ideas for pushing forward globalization, setting the tone for the right direction for cooperation and coordination among major powers, experts said.
Xi said on Saturday during the 29th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Bangkok that free and open trade and investment form the purpose and principles of APEC and also the pillar for the realization of the Putrajaya Vision 2040.
Xi stressed the importance on upholding true multilateralism and defending the multilateral trading system. More should be done to safeguard the rules-based multilateral trading system, keep global industrial and supply chains secure and stable, foster an open, fair and non-discriminatory trade and investment environment, and strive for the early realization of a comprehensive, high-standard Free Trade Area in the Asia-Pacific, he said.
He also mentioned the importance of upholding inclusiveness for the benefit of all and upholding open regional cooperation for the prosperity of the Asia-Pacific. “China will not waver in its commitment to high-standard opening up. China will open its door still wider,” Xi said.
The meeting issued the 2022 APEC Economic Leaders’ Declaration and the Bangkok Goals on Bio-Circular-Green Economy.
The declaration, adopted after the two-day APEC gathering, affirmed APEC leaders’ long-standing commitment to promote strong, balanced, secure, sustainable and inclusive growth, as well as their commitment to realize the APEC Putrajaya Vision.
Some Chinese observers believed that this year’s APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting – the first in-person gathering since 2018 – was a milestone in building a community with a shared future for the Asia-Pacific, yielding some important results including the proposed free trade and investment structure, reaffirmed inclusiveness of regional growth and consensus of tackling the common challenges such as uneven development and the post-COVID recovery.
Free and open Asia-Pacific
“The Asia-Pacific region has become a driving force of the global growth, so that an open and free environment for investment and trade is extremely important, especially when there have been trends of decoupling and setting up barriers,” Xu Liping, director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Saturday.
There are various multilateral and bilateral trade pacts in the region, and Xu stated that more efforts need to be made to integrate those free trade agreements to build a comprehensive free trade pact characterized by inclusiveness and mutual trust.
Intensive head-of-state diplomacy
In facing growing geopolitical challenges, China has pledged to promote peace and development, vowing to build a human community with a shared future, which was conveyed to the world at the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in October and also fully underscored by Xi during his week-long trip to two major international gatherings in Southeast Asia.
As Xi’s first foreign trip after the conclusion of the Party congress, Xi attended the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, which was also an occasion for bilateral meetings with world leaders including US President Joe Biden. He met with many world leaders including those from US allies such as French President Emmanuel Macron and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in addition to leaders from emerging economies such as Argentina and South Africa.
During the APEC gathering, Xi also met leaders including Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos.
SOURCE Global Times