Bland communique out of APEC

From Gezza:

Aljazeera tv had a main news item this morning making a big thing out of the failure of APEC leaders to be able to issue the usual agreed “bland communique”, and the very obvious “spat” – the “war of words” that had been waged there between Xi and Pence:
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“Asia-Pacific leaders have failed to bridge divisions over trade at a summit dominated by a war of words between the United States and China. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Papua New Guinea ended on Sunday without a formal statement for the first time in its history.

“You know the two big giants in the room. What can I say?” said host and Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, adding that a chairman’s statement would be released later on Sunday.

The US and China presented contrasting visions for the future of trade and investment in the region in competing policy speeches on Saturday. Washington and Beijing have been engaged in an escalating trade war this year, imposing tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods, and have said that the tariffs could be increased.

O’Neill said that the main sticking points that prevented a joint statement related to “the World Trade Organisation and reform of the World Trade Organisation.” “APEC has got no charter over World Trade Organisation, that is a fact. Those matters can be raised at the World Trade Organisation,” he said.

Sources told the AFP news agency that the US had pressed for the leaders to issue a statement that would amount to a denunciation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and a call for its wholesale reform.
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Of particular interest for me, though, was that the New Zealand Prime Minister featured prominently, announcing that leaders from Australia, New Zealand, Japan & the United States were jointly planning to spend millions of dollars to help bring reliable electricity to the majority of people in PNG, seen as a way to counter China’s increasing influence in the South Pacific.

I think came across very well – in the tv news clip they ran (embedded in the linked article). She got more air time than Justin The Wuss Trudeau. And she looks good.

Newsroom:  APEC ends in disarray

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation has ended in dissarray, with leaders not being able to reach consensus on the official communique.

The rising conflict between the US and China, who are currently engaged in a tit-for-tat trade war, played out in the room during the APEC Leaders Meeting in Port Moresby on Sunday afternoon (Sunday evening NZT).

Issues of trade – particularly reform of the World Trade Organisation – tarrifs, intellectual property and artificial intelligence are understood to have be the sticking points.

While all 21 leaders agreed on the majpority of the leaders’ communique, there were a few paragraphs the US and China would not budge on.

This is the first time a joint communique would not be delieverd by the APEC leaders since the practice began.