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Biden, Xi to address APEC leaders on trade, COVID recovery

Jordan Daily – US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are expected to address leaders of the Pacific Rim late on Friday amid heightened regional trade and geopolitical tensions.

China set the tone for the 21 member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting this week, with Xi warning in a video recording on Thursday that the region must not return to the tensions of the Cold War era.

The comment was seen as a reference to efforts by the United States and its regional allies to blunt what they see as China’s growing coercive economic and military influence.

Biden is expected to address the gathering that begins at midnight New Zealand time , the White House confirmed in a statement, adding he will discuss ongoing efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic and support global economic recovery.

“The President’s participation demonstrates U.S. commitment to the Indo-Pacific region and to multilateral cooperation,” the statement said.

Chinese foreign ministry has also confirmed that Xi will speak at the meeting via video link.

The APEC gathering comes ahead of a much-anticipated virtual summit between Biden and Xi on Monday, as the superpowers look to prevent growing tensions between the world’s two biggest economies from spiralling towards conflict.

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