China is seeking to work closely with members of the Asia-Pacific Economic
Co-operation (APEC) to push forward liberalization of trade and investment and
tackle security concerns, according to officials and experts.
Leaders of the 21
economies of APEC members will gather in Hanoi, Viet Nam this weekend to discuss
ways of reviving the stalled Doha round of World Trade Organization (WTO) talks.
Delegates at the conclusion of the senior officials
meeting of the Apec in Hanoi, Vietnam November 13, 2006. [Xinhua]
collapsed in July amid disagreements over subsidies and tariffs for agricultural
President Hu Jintao will attend the forum along with US President George W.
Bush, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Leaders are also expected to look for ways to combat pirated goods at the
meeting, according to Vietnamese sources.
"APEC can lead the way for all members of the WTO to reignite negotiations
and conclude the Doha Development Agenda next year," Le Cong Phung, deputy
foreign minister of Viet Nam, was quoted as saying.
"If APEC can identify a way forward, this path will most likely be suitable
to the broader WTO membership," he noted.
Ministry of Commerce spokesman Chong Quan said earlier that Beijing will
continue to appeal for more economic openness and the facilitation of trade and
APEC was established in 1989, and its members account for about 40 per cent
of the world's population, 56 per cent of the world's gross domestic product
(GDP) and approximately 48 per cent of world trade.
China, which hosted an APEC meeting in 2001 in Shanghai, has close economic
and trade ties with APEC, according to Chong.
Its trade with APEC members reached US$960.7 billion last year, nearly 68 per
cent of its total foreign trade, and nine of its top 10 overseas trading
partners are from APEC.
Ministers will meet from November 15-16 in the Vietnamese capital to prepare
for the leaders' meeting, which will be held on November 18 and 19.
The meeting is expected to draw about 10,000 people, including many
international business leaders.
According to sources familiar with the forum, leaders will adopt a five-year
"Hanoi action plan" outlining specific policies aimed at lifting trade barriers.
The nuclear issue in the Korean Peninsular will inevitably be a hot topic at
the summit, said Liu Junhong, an international affairs expert with the China
Institute of Contemporary International Relations.
The forum is the first time leaders of state from the United States, China,
Japan, Russia and the Republic of Korea have gathered together since the
Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) conducted a nuclear test early last
According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, President Hu will meet with US
President Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Abe on the sidelines of the meeting.
"Besides bilateral relations, the DPRK nuclear issue will be at the top of
the agenda," Liu told China Daily.
APEC, which mainly handles problems concerning globalization and economic
openness, started to touch on security issues following the September 11 terror
attacks in 2001.
Many commitments of APEC are non-binding and few expect major policy
announcements, according to Liu.
However, he said that the meeting serves as an important platform for top
leaders to conduct strategic dialogue, which lays the groundwork for