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APEC ends: condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Harris will Xi Jinping, next year’s APEC informal summit San Francisco hosting

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris held a brief meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday (November 19) in Bangkok for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) informal leaders' meeting.
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris held a brief meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday (November 19) in Bangkok for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) informal leaders’ meeting.
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris used the opportunity to attend the informal Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leadership meeting in Bangkok on Saturday (Nov. 19) for a brief meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, a White House official said. This is also another face-to-face communication between US and Chinese leaders after US President Joe Biden held a bilateral formal summit with Xi Jinping in Bali, Indonesia.

“The vice president spoke about a point that President Biden emphasized during his November 14 meeting with President Xi: We must keep the lines of communication open in order to responsibly manage the competition between our two countries,” Reuters quoted the White House official as saying.

Chinese state media, including Xinhua and CCTV, confirmed Harris’ meeting with Xi.

“My meeting with President Biden in Bali, Indonesia, was strategic and constructive, and has important guiding significance for the next phase of U.S.-China relations,” Xinhua quoted Xi as saying. “It is hoped that the two sides will further enhance mutual understanding, reduce misunderstanding and miscalculation, and jointly promote China-US relations to return to a healthy and stable track.”

“I hope that the vice president will play an active role in this,” Mr. Xi added.

“The two heads of state have just had a successful meeting, and the U.S. side does not seek confrontation or conflict with China,” Harris was quoted as saying by Xinhua. “The two sides should cooperate on global issues and keep channels of communication open.”

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The two-day APEC informal leadership meeting came to an end Saturday. In a statement issued after the meeting, the leaders called on Russia to end its war against Ukraine while pledging to steer the Asia-Pacific economy towards sustainable development.

APEC includes Russia, which is waging war against Ukraine, and China, which generally avoids criticizing Russia. Thailand, the host of the meeting, managed to bridge differences through diplomatic mediation, allowing the 21-member informal APEC leaders to issue a joint statement stating that most members condemned Russia’s war against Ukraine.

The statement acknowledged that various members of the war in Ukraine have different views, and that APEC, which is mainly based on economic and trade themes, is not an occasion to resolve the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. However, the statement stressed that this conflict, along with other security issues, “could have serious consequences for the global economy.”

The statement of the APEC informal leaders meeting noted that the overwhelming majority of members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine, stressing that it has led to severe human suffering, exacerbated inflation, and triggered supply chain problems, food insecurity and fiscal risks.

The statement, like that issued at the G20 summit that just concluded in Bali, Indonesia, reiterated a passage from the resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly on March 2 this year, “condemning in the strongest terms the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine and demanding its complete and unconditional withdrawal from Ukrainian territory.”

In a statement Saturday, Vice President Harris also announced that the United States will host the 2023 APEC Informal Leadership Summit, which will be held Nov. 12 in San Francisco, California.

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“President Biden and I look forward to welcoming APEC leaders to San Francisco next year for a successful meeting where we will promote economic growth and prosperity for the American people and the people of the entire Indo-Pacific,” Harris said in the statement.

“There is no better place to host APEC 2023 than California, a state known for economic innovation,” Harris added.

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