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APEC meeting shows choice is between right and wrong: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2021-07-16 23:21
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FILE PHOTO: Leaders attend the retreat session of the APEC Summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea November 18, 2018.[Photo/Agencies]

With 21 economies, including the world's three largest — the United States, China and Japan — and such major global players as Russia, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Informal Leaders' Retreat is considered a platform for coordinating policies and deepening mutual understanding among its member economies.

That explains why the APEC leaders' special meeting via video link convened by the organization's rotating host New Zealand on Friday attracted much attention.

The APEC meeting acquired special significance not only because of the background against which it was held — the US administration leaving no stones unturned to contain China and trying to force the rest of the world to make a one-or-the- other choice — but also because the leaders of the three countries, along with others, discussed the most pressing issues facing the world today: how to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and realize global economic recovery.

The meeting, once again, showed all the major economies still have many common interests despite their divergences, and therefore, should set aside their differences to address common challenges.

The APEC meeting also demonstrated that its members have the political will needed to contain the pandemic and overcome the global economic woes. More than 50 million people have been infected with the novel coronavirus in the APEC member economies and their economic contraction is said to be the most serious since the end of World War II.

That testifies to the value of President Xi Jinping's speech calling for international solidarity in the fight against the virus, and promoting economic growth, as not only the APEC members but also the rest of the world have learned in a painful way that they are a community with a shared future, and mutual assistance is the only way out of the health and economic crises.

The support President Xi has promised to provide for the other countries, from vaccines to funds, along with those China has already provided as the largest supplier of vaccines, demonstrates China's commitment to doing all it can to help other countries.

As the only major economy to achieve positive growth last year, China, with its economy growing 12.7 percent in the first half of this year, will continue to serve as a major driver for post-pandemic recovery. Not least because it believes no country will be safe from the virus until all countries are safe.

Therefore, it is hoped that all countries will work together with China, and make their due contributions to contain the pandemic and promote global growth.

The heavy price some countries have been paying for their selfish and shortsighted policies should prompt them to think of changing their minds. For the only choice they need to make is between progress and regression, not between one country and another.

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