China’s Foreign Ministry urges APEC members to avoid geopolitics in economic cooperation
Published: May 23, 2022 09:46 PM
APEC. Photo: CFP

APEC. Photo: CFP

It's regrettable that a recent meeting of trade officials from the 21 economies making up the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum did not come up with a joint statement, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday, urging members to avoid bringing geopolitical issues into the highly valued economic cooperation mechanism in the Asia-Pacific region. 

At a regular press briefing in Beijing, Wang Wenbin, the spokesperson, said that a joint statement was not issued because certain members raised politically sensitive issues. This is something that China and most APEC members do not want to see, he said. 

According to a report by Kyodo News, which cited Japan's Trade Minister Koichi Hagiuda, there were big differences when coordinating the wording over Russia among the member economies at the meeting. 

The two-day meeting ended on Sunday in Bangkok, Thailand. Trade officials from the 21 members, including the US, China and Japan, discussed a number of issues such as post-COVID economic stimulation and food security, the report noted. 

Wang noted that APEC is an economic cooperation platform, and the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting is an occasion to discuss issues related to trade and economic issues.

All sides should respect the nature of the APEC forum and its conference function, focus on economic and trade issues and avoid bringing in issues like geopolitics, he noted. 

Cooperation in fighting COVID-19 and pushing for an economic recovery is the common wish of APEC members, Wang said, adding that China is willing to push cooperation according to the built-in agenda along with APEC members, as well as push for implementation of the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040. 

According to the vision, the Asia-Pacific will be built into an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful community by 2040. 

Wang also disclosed that the APEC trade ministers' meeting achieved positive results on issues like the digital economy and supporting multilateral trade mechanisms. 

Global Times