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Wang Yi: China Will Promote the APEC Meeting to Maintain Free Trade System

On October 5, 2016 local time, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who was on an official visit to Peru, told reporters in Lima that the 24th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting will be held in Peru next month. President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski of Peru has extended kind invitation to President Xi Jinping and looks forward eagerly to his state visit to Peru at that time. My visit to Peru this time is to conduct strategic communication with the Peruvian side and make political preparations for the high-level exchanges between the two countries at the next stage.

China believes that in the face of current emerging trend of anti-globalization and protectionism, the APEC meeting this year needs to send a clear and firm message to the international community, which is to jointly safeguard the global free trade framework and oppose any form of protectionism. In this regard, the Chinese side expects the meeting in Lima to build new consensus and take new actions on the establishment of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). The FTAAP is a consensus reached at the Beijing APEC Meeting in 2014. The Beijing Declaration issued then initiated the process of the FTAAP and drew a clear roadmap to this end. Since then, China, together with the US and other parties, has carried out collective strategic study, namely, feasibility study of the FTAAP. At present, the results have been basically produced and are expected to be submitted to the meeting in Lima. It is hoped that the meeting can approve the results and jointly negotiate on next-stage actions on this basis. China hopes that the negotiation process of the FTAAP will be launched at a proper time.

China holds that current regional or sub-regional trade arrangements should be open and inclusive, not closed or exclusive. Both the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) are paths leading to the FTAAP. The rules of international trade should be determined through equal consultation by all parties, rather than one or two countries. The formulation of trade rules should not be politicized or attached to a political agenda, which would neither contribute to the normal development of international trade nor suit the common interests of all economies.

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