United States, China set for face off at Malaysia-chaired APEC summit



U.S President, Donald Trump appeared as a surprise participant at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit,  being hosted by Malaysian Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin.

Trump, whose involvement was in doubt until several hours before the 1200 GMT start time, was seen on a screen with 19 other APEC heads of government while Muhyiddin delivered his opening statement.

The meeting, usually an annual gala attended by the leaders, this year taking place by video link due to the novel Coronavirus pandemic and is expected to last two hours.

Muhyiddin’s opening remarks were broadcast live on local television but coverage stopped once he had finished.

The host website appeared to crash at around the same time.

Among the other APEC leaders who took  part in the summit were Russian President, Vladimir Putin and Japan’s new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

Muhyiddin said that the pandemic “has had a lasting impact’’ on trade but added that APEC intends to “reaffirm its support for the rules-based multilateral trading system’’ which he described as essential for business.

The United States under Trump has sought to push back against unfair terms of trade.

The Malaysian leader’s opening remarks come a day after Chinese President, Xi Jinping told the APEC CEO Dialogues that Beijing will “eschew decoupling and seek high-standard free trade agreements with more countries.’’

Today’s summit could be Trump’s final shot at pushing back at Xi, who on Thursday touted China’s major strategic achievement to both contain the virus and speedily bring production and life back to normal.’’

Though Trump praised Xi the last time the two leaders spoke, which was by telephone in March, he has since blamed Beijing for what he has repeatedly termed “the Chinese virus.’’

According to official data the novel Coronavirus has infected over 11.5 million Americans and led to more than 250,000 deaths the most of any country.

Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, who has close ties with both China and the US, told the CEO Dialogues on Thursday that the United States prefers to deal with issues bilaterally and that the Trump administration sees trade as a win-lose proposition.

Edited By: Halima Sheji/Felix Ajide

Sheji Halima

Sheji Halima: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a media subscriber of the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at] Disclaimer.

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