Asia-Pacific leaders called on Thursday for open and multilateral trade to support a global economy battered by the novel coronavirus, and some hoped for more engagement with the United States under a Joe Biden administration.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, among the leaders at a virtual meeting of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, rejected protectionism and said globalisation was “irreversible”, a day before U.S. President Donald Trump was expected to join in the gathering.
“We will not reverse course or run against historical trend by ‘decoupling’ or forming a small circle to keep others out,” Xi said at a forum ahead of the APEC leaders meeting to be held virtually in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
“China will remain committed to openness and cooperation, and adhere to multilateralism and the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits,” he said.
Xi said “mounting unilateralism, protectionism and bullying as well as backlash against economic globalisation” had added to risks and uncertainties in the world economy.