Trudeau to tout local weather and commerce as China, U.S. set to dominate Asia-Pacific summit

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press

Printed Friday, November 20, 2020 5:31AM EST

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will pitch the financial advantages of preventing local weather change and doing enterprise with Canada as he meets with counterparts from each side of the Pacific throughout right this moment’s Asia-Pacific Financial Co-operation leaders’ summit.

But the diploma to which the prime minister’s gross sales pitch will even be heard by APEC leaders stays unclear as Canada’s tensions with China and the a lot larger dispute between Beijing and Washington threaten to overshadow the assembly.

Trudeau hinted at his deliberate strategy to the summit throughout a speech on Thursday that was adopted by a question-and-answer session through which Ottawa’s tense ties with Beijing and relationship with the White Home figured prominently.

The summit, which is being hosted by Malaysia however held on-line due to COVID-19, is meant to deal with the pandemic, notably its financial impacts and what actions the members can take to mitigate these now and get better afterward.

Chinese language President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump shall be among the many individuals, with the latter possible marking one in every of his final such worldwide gatherings following this month’s presidential election.

This 12 months’s assembly additionally comes days after China joined practically a dozen different Asian international locations together with Australia and New Zealand in inking what’s being billed because the world’s largest free-trade settlement, which excludes Canada and U.S.

Trudeau stopped quick Thursday of claiming Canada was thinking about becoming a member of the brand new Regional Complete Financial Partnership, however as an alternative advised Ottawa can be watching to see how Beijing behaves within the commerce deal.

China “is a vital participant within the international economic system that we have to attempt to embrace and get to play by higher worldwide guidelines,” the prime minister mentioned through the question-and-answer session through the APEC CEO Dialogue on Thursday.

“So if the RCEP deal is ready to really begin to create degree enjoying fields, that is going to be one thing very, very attention-grabbing. So we will watch rigorously.”

Trudeau throughout the identical session defended the detention of Huawei govt Meng Wanzhou, who’s dealing with extradition to the U.S. to face fraud costs, and whose case has turn into a weeping sore within the relationship between Canada and China.

The prime minister additionally indicated that he deliberate to not solely push again in opposition to rising protectionism around the globe, notably through the pandemic, but in addition name for extra of the advantages of free commerce and globalization attain on a regular basis individuals.

A lot of the eye, nevertheless, shall be on Trump and Xi. The previous has refused to concede this month’s U.S. presidential election to challenger Joe Biden, and has made a degree previously of calling out China on commerce and safety.

The Trump administration over the last APEC summit in 2018 refused to log out on a remaining assertion over those self same points.

The APEC assembly right this moment shall be adopted this weekend by the G20 leaders’ summit, which is being hosted by Saudi Arabia and also will deal with responding to the financial harm wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whereas the primary G20 leaders’ summit held in 2008 was aimed to make sure a unified worldwide response to the monetary disaster that 12 months, specialists say the making certain 12 years have seen rising polarization around the globe together with extra populism and instability.

“We’re in a geopolitically polarized atmosphere that is not getting any higher,” mentioned Fen Hampson, chancellor’s professor at Carleton College’s Norman Paterson Faculty of Worldwide Affairs.

“And except there’s a will on the a part of the nice powers to co-operate even at a minimal, you are simply not going to see a complete lot of motion. So sure, you could get a communique. But it surely’s more likely to be fairly anodyne.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Nov. 20, 2020.