US China Relations Impact Asia Pacific Economic Summit

The flags of many countries blow in the wind.

Image: Shutterstock

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit is taking place in Manila this week and will be attended by 21 member countries. Over 7,000 attendees comprised of government officials, CEOs, and high-ranking executives, and others will be attendance. Leading figures in the world of finance like Bill E Ford, CEO of General Atlantic, who serves on the Board of Directors of the National Committee on United States-China Relations pay particular attention to these events.

Validimir Putin will not be attending the summit due to the recent plane crash in Egypt of a Russian passenger jet, now labeled a terrorist attack. President Obama and China’s President Xi Jinping will be in attendance, however, in what is expected to be an atmosphere charged by issues related to economics, trade, and terrorism.

The summit has already received its share of protests by Philippine activists protesting territory disagreements with China in the South China Sea and displaying banners reading “Boycott All China Products.” The rancor was so pronounced that a Chinese diplomat visited Manila prior to the summit to request that these demonstrations and anti-China comments be controlled during the summit.

Others active within this region have also expressed disappointment with APEC since it’s a non-binding group and can’t really enforce its decisions or guidelines. A not-so-kind joke interprets the summit’s acronym as “A Perfect Excuse to Chat.”

The recent terrorist attacks in Paris have added additional complexities to negotiating relationships between APEC member nations and super powers operating in the region. A need for communication and better understanding is required.

Understanding is achieved through ongoing thoughtful dialog, analysis, education, and conversation. The National Committee On United States–China Relations is committed to improving the dialog between these two nations, a mission of even greater importance as terrorist attacks increase around the globe.

A highlight in this dialog is the Barnet-Oksenberg Lecture on Sino-American Relations. This year David M. Lampton, Hyman Professor and Director of SAIS-China and China Studies at the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies will deliver it. He’s the author of many books include The Three Faces of Chinese Power: Might, Money, and Minds. His lecture will explore issues related to politics and security, governance, civil society, and economics.

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