Asia-Pacific leaders condemn war, renew calls for open trade

Nov 18, 2022, 7:44 AM | Updated: Nov 19, 2022, 2:22 am
Singapore's President Lee Hsien Loong arrives for the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting during the Asia...

Singapore's President Lee Hsien Loong arrives for the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (Jack Taylor/Pool Photo via AP)

(Jack Taylor/Pool Photo via AP)

              Singapore's President Lee Hsien Loong arrives for the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (Jack Taylor/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              South Korea's Prime Minister Han Duck-soo arrives for the Economic Leaders Meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (Jack Taylor/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Chile's President Gabriel Boric arrives for the Economic Leaders Meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (Jack Taylor/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Malaysia's Chief Secretary to the Government Mohd Zuki Ali leaves after the Economic Leaders Meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (Jack Taylor/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, speaks during a press conference in Bangkok, Thailand, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
            
              U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris attends a leaders' meeting at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, Bangkok, Thailand. (Haiyun Jiang/The New York Times via AP, Pool)
            
              Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a leaders' meeting at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, Bangkok, Thailand. (Haiyun Jiang/The New York Times via AP, Pool)
            
              Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, shakes hands with Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bangkok, Thailand, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (Athit Perawongmetha/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, left, and Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha hold a Chalom, a bamboo basket symbolizing the "handing over of the baton", as the U.S. is the next summit host during the closing of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (Haiyun Jiang/The New York Times via AP, Pool)
            
              U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, left, and Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha hold a Chalom, a bamboo basket symbolizing the "handing over of the baton", as the U.S. is the next summit host during the closing of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (Haiyun Jiang/The New York Times via AP, Pool)
            
              Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha addresses a press conference during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)
            
              Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha offers the traditional Thai greetings gesture as addresses a press conference during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)
            
              Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a meeting with Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, at the Government House, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (Athit Perawongmetha/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, meets with Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, at the Government House, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (Athit Perawongmetha/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Singapore's President Lee Hsien Loong arrives for the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (Jack Taylor/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              South Korea's Prime Minister Han Duck-soo arrives for the Economic Leaders Meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (Jack Taylor/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Chile's President Gabriel Boric arrives for the Economic Leaders Meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (Jack Taylor/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Malaysia's Chief Secretary to the Government Mohd Zuki Ali leaves after the Economic Leaders Meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (Jack Taylor/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, speaks during a press conference in Bangkok, Thailand, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
            
              U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris attends a leaders' meeting at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, Bangkok, Thailand. (Haiyun Jiang/The New York Times via AP, Pool)
            
              Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a leaders' meeting at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, Bangkok, Thailand. (Haiyun Jiang/The New York Times via AP, Pool)
            
              Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, shakes hands with Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bangkok, Thailand, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (Athit Perawongmetha/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, left, and Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha hold a Chalom, a bamboo basket symbolizing the "handing over of the baton", as the U.S. is the next summit host during the closing of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (Haiyun Jiang/The New York Times via AP, Pool)
            
              U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, left, and Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha hold a Chalom, a bamboo basket symbolizing the "handing over of the baton", as the U.S. is the next summit host during the closing of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (Haiyun Jiang/The New York Times via AP, Pool)
            
              Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha addresses a press conference during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)
            
              Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha offers the traditional Thai greetings gesture as addresses a press conference during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)
            
              Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a meeting with Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, at the Government House, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (Athit Perawongmetha/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, meets with Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, at the Government House, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (Athit Perawongmetha/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman shakes hands with Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at Goverment House in Bangkok, Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. (Lillian Suwanrumpha/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, center, arrives for the Economic Leaders Meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (Jack Taylor/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha arrives to attend the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (Jack Taylor/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Chinese President Xi Jinping, center left, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, arrive to attend the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (Haiyun Jiang/The New York Times via AP, Pool)
            
              Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov arrives for the Economic Leaders Meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (Jack Taylor/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Japanese Prime Minister  Fumio Kishida arrives for the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (Haiyun Jiang/The New York Times via AP, Pool)
            
              China's President Xi Jinping arrives for the Economic Leaders Meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (Jack Taylor/Pool Photo via AP)

BANGKOK (AP) — Leaders from around the Asia-Pacific called for an end to Russia’s war on Ukraine and pledged to steer the region’s economies toward sustainable growth as they wrapped up summit meetings Saturday.

Host Thailand garnered a diplomatic coup in managing to bridge divisions among the 21 members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum by saying that most members had condemned the war. Russia is an APEC member, as is China, which generally has refrained from criticizing Moscow.

The declaration issued by APEC leaders acknowledged differing views on the war and said the forum, which is devoted largely to promoting trade and closer economic ties, was not a venue for resolving such conflicts.

But it noted that the conflict and other security issues “can have significant consequences for the global economy.”

The leaders’ statement said most members had strongly condemned the war in Ukraine, stressing that it is causing immense human suffering and worsening inflation, supply chain troubles, food insecurity and financial risks.

Like a statement issued by the Group of 20 leading economies in Bali, Indonesia, earlier this week, it echoed the wording of a March 2 United Nations General Assembly resolution that “deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine and demands its complete and unconditional withdrawal from the territory of Ukraine.”

The meetings Saturday wrapped up a flurry of events in Southeast Asian countries this week that gave leaders opportunities for face-to-face talks that have been rare in the past two years of pandemic precautions.

Much of the activity at such summits occurs on the sidelines and in the interludes before and after the formal meetings.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke briefly on Saturday before the final APEC meeting began. Harris reiterated President Joe Biden’s call, made in a meeting with Xi at the G-20, for both sides to keep lines of communication open.

Xi said he viewed his talks with Biden as a step toward a “next stage” in ties between the two largest economies, according to a Chinese government summary of the meeting.

Relations have deteriorated recently amid friction over trade and technology, Chinese claims on the separately governed island of Taiwan, human rights and other issues. But Harris told Xi the U.S. “does not seek confrontation or conflict with China.”

She received a “handover” in the form of a symbolic “chalom” bamboo basket from the APEC host, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha. The U.S. will host next year’s APEC summit in San Francisco, with preliminary meetings to be held in other cities throughout the year.

Though summit meetings are often sidetracked by other more urgent concerns, APEC’s long-term mission is promoting closer economic ties, and Prayuth opened Saturday’s meeting by urging the leaders to push ahead with APEC’s agenda of free trade in the Pacific region.

“We have to give priority to turning this plan into action,” he said.

Security risks are not on the formal APEC agenda, but Prayuth said North Korea’s numerous recent missile launches were discussed and “everybody shares concern on that issue.”

On Friday, Harris and leaders of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea met separately to air concerns about the North’s launch earlier in the day of an intercontinental ballistic missile that landed near Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido.

Both at APEC in Thailand and at the G-20 meeting in Indonesia, officials appear to have chosen to agree to disagree about the war in Ukraine while voicing anguish over its deepening impact. In both Bangkok and Bali, countries that have refused to condemn the invasion refrained from blocking the release of statements harshly criticizing Moscow.

APEC members account for nearly four of every 10 people and almost half of world trade. Much of APEC’s work is technical and incremental, carried out by senior officials and ministers, covering areas such as trade, forestry, health, food, security, small- and medium-size enterprises and women’s empowerment.

The leaders’ declaration released Saturday also called for promoting more use of clean energy and more secure, environmentally sustainable food systems, among an array of goals that also address illegal, unregulated and unauthorized fishing, illegal logging, marine waste, improvements to public health and better access to vaccinations.

Other APEC members include Brunei, Chile, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen was to represent the Association of Southeast Asian Nations but did not attend after getting COVID-19.

The summit venue, at Bangkok’s main convention center near a vast parkland, was cordoned off with some streets closed to traffic. Riot police stood guard behind barricades at major intersections to keep protesters well away.

On Friday, police clashed in another area of Bangkok with demonstrators who took the opportunity of the APEC meeting to renew calls for democratic reforms in Thailand and accuse the government of promoting policies to APEC that favor big business over ordinary people. Several people were injured and a number of arrests made.

___

Associated Press journalists Elaine Kurtenbach, Tian McLeod Ji, Grant Peck, Jerry Harmer and Tassanee Vejpongsa contributed to this report.

___

Follow AP’s APEC coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/asia-pacific-economic-cooperation

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

In this image taken from footage provided by the RU-RTR Russian television on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022,...
Associated Press

1,700 dead seals found on Russia’s Caspian coast

MOSCOW (AP) — About 1,700 seals have been found dead on the Caspian Sea coast in southern Russia, officials said Sunday. The authorities in the Russian province of Dagestan said that it’s still unclear what caused the animals’ deaths, but they likely died of natural reasons. Regional officials initially said Saturday that 700 dead seals […]
1 day ago
FILE - The logo of the Organization of the Petroleoum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is seen outside of...
Associated Press

OPEC+ oil producers face uncertainty over Russian sanctions

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The Saudi-led OPEC oil cartel and allied producing countries, including Russia, are expected to decide how much oil to supply to the global economy amid weakening demand in China and uncertainty about the impact of new Western sanctions against Russia that could take significant amounts of oil off the market. The […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Police: Vandalism suspected in North Carolina power outage

MOORE COUNTY, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina believe vandalism may have caused a power outage that affected thousands of customers Saturday night. A mass power outage in several communities beginning just after 7 p.m. Saturday “is being investigated as a criminal occurrence,” the Moore County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post. “As […]
1 day ago
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, plays with children who have been d...
Associated Press

US intel chief thinking ‘optimistically’ for Ukraine forces

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The head of U.S. intelligence says fighting in Russia’s war in Ukraine is running at a “reduced tempo” and suggests Ukrainian forces could have brighter prospects in coming months. Avril Haines alluded to past allegations by some that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s advisers could be shielding him from bad news — […]
1 day ago
FILE - Croatia and Canada fans cheer ahead of the World Cup group F soccer match between Croatia an...
Associated Press

Fans’ wild World Cup fashion draws praise, scorn in Qatar

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The World Cup in Qatar has become a political lightning rod, so it comes as no surprise that soccer fans’ sartorial style has sparked controversy. Forget your classic soccer jerseys – the streets of Doha have been transformed into a chaotic runway show in terms of fashion. Visitors from around the […]
1 day ago
A woman wearing a face mask looks at masked man holding a dog as they walk through a reopened open ...
Associated Press

China reports 2 new COVID deaths as some restrictions eased

HONG KONG (AP) — China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions following increasingly vocal public frustrations. The National Health Commission said one death was reported each in the provinces of Shandong and Sichuan. No information was given about the ages of the victims or […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Asia-Pacific leaders condemn war, renew calls for open trade