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Factbox: What is APEC and which leaders are attending Bangkok summit?

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2022-11-18T06:35:57Z

Leaders and heads of governments from the 21 member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) have come to the Thai capital Bangkok for a meeting on Friday and Saturday.

As host, Thailand hopes to make progress on discussion of the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP), but talks come amid geopolitical tensions over the war in Ukraine and regional flashpoints such as Taiwan and the Korean peninsula.

What is APEC?

APEC is a regional economic forum established in 1989 to promote economic integration. As a grouping, it makes up 38% of the global population, 62% of GDP and 48% of trade.

APEC’s 21 members are:

Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.

Here is a look at who is attending:

Harris is standing in for President Joe Biden. The United States will be the APEC host in 2023. After the meeting in Bangkok, Harris will travel to the Philippines. Her visit to the Philippines will be at the edge of the disputed South China Sea, a move that Beijing may see as a rebuke.

Xi met Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Bangkok on Thursday for talks. Kishida said he conveyed concerns over regional security to Xi amid growing tensions in Asia over China’s maritime ambitions. Xi was quoted by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV as telling Kishida that China and Japan should deepen trust, areas of cooperation and regional integration, and resist “conflict and confrontation”.

Belousov will represent President Valadmir Putin at APEC. At an earlier APEC meeting in Bangkok this year, representatives from the United States and other countries walked out of a meeting in protest of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine when Russian Economy Minister Maxim Reshetnikov was delivering remarks.

THAILAND PRIME MINISTER PRAYUTH CHAN-OCHA
As meetings kicked off, Thailand urged APEC members to “rise above differences” after geopolitical tensions dominated summits in Bali and Phnom Penh over the war in Ukraine. Prayuth said he wanted the talks to discuss how leaders can help transition to sustainable economic growth and development.

China’s leader appeared to confront Trudeau at the G20 summit in Bali on Wednesday after accusing him of leaking details from a closed-door meeting, a rare public display of annoyance by Xi. China’s foreign ministry on Thursday said Xi was not criticising Trudeau over the alleged leaks.

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo is expected to hold meetings with New Zealand and Peru, and also seek support for South Korea’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo, according to Yonhap.

Malaysia is represented by its government secretary, with the country holding general elections on Nov. 19.

Marape will hold meetings with U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken.

The ambassador will represent President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

President Marcos will hold a bilateral meeting with China’s Xi and host U.S. Vice President Harris in Manila next week, with tensions over Taiwan on the agenda.

SINGAPORE PRIME MINISTER LEE HSIEN LOONG

Lee will hold bilateral meetings with China’s Xi

VIETNAM PRESIDENT NGUYEN XUAN PHUC

CHILE PRESIDENT GABRIEL BORIC FONT

INDONESIA PRESIDENT JOKO WIDODO

NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER JACINDA ARDERN

PERU VICE PRESIDENT DINA BOLUARTE

SULTAN OF BRUNEI HASSANAL BOLKIAH

AUSTRALIA PRIME MINISTER ANTHONY ALBANESE

HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE JOHN LEE KA-CHIU

CHINESE TAIPEI TSMC FOUNDER MORRIS CHANG

This year, host Thailand has also invited France and Saudi Arabia.

Macron is due to make a keynote address.

Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler’s visit comes as the relationship between Thailand and Saudi Arabia starts to normalise this year. For nearly three decades diplomatic ties had been frozen over “the Blue Diamond Affair”, as the theft of $20 million in jewellery by a Thai janitor is known.

Related Galleries:

A general view outside of the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center venue during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, at Asoke Junction, in Bangkok, Thailand November 17, 2022. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris arrives to attend the 29th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) Retreat (Session 1) – Balanced, Inclusive and Sustainable Growth during the APEC 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand, 18 November 2022. Thailand hosts the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation or APEC 2022, the summit for economic cooperation comprising 21 leading member economies to promote free trade in the Asia-Pacific Region.Diego Azubel/Pool via REUTERS

China’s President Xi Jinping and wife Peng Liyuan attend the Gala dinner of the APEC Summit 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand November 17, 2022. APEC 2022 Thailand/Handout via REUTERS

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, wife Naraporn Chao-ocha, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and wife Yuko Kishida attend the Gala dinner of the APEC Summit 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand, November 17, 2022. Thailand Government House/Handout via REUTERS

Vietnam’s President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and France’s President Emmanuel Macron attend an APEC Leader’s Informal Dialogue with Guests during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand November 18, 2022. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha/Pool
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