China to Push Trade Pact During APEC Meeting

China plans to use a meeting of Asia-Pacific leaders to promote a regional trade initiative at a time when progress on a rival U.S.-led trade deal has stalled, injecting a note of rivalry into an annual summit that aims for consensus.

The two-day meeting of 21 countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea is the first major international gathering in China since President Xi Jinping came to power. Starting Monday, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting gives China, the world’s second-largest economy, a platform to assert itself as a regional leader.

The proposal promoted by China, the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific, is part of an agenda that also includes talks on cooperation in environmental protection, energy efficiency and urbanization.

“We will reach important consensus” on the launch of the free trade process, said Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a news conference ahead of the gathering.

China’s campaign for the initiative comes as Beijing tries to claim a bigger role in U.S.-dominated global trade, security and financial structures.

Last month, China and 20 other Asian nations launched a bank to pay for roads and other infrastructure, despite U.S. objections it is an unneeded rival to the World Bank. Beijing is providing most of the $50 billion in startup capital.

In May, Xi called for the creation of a new Asian structure for security cooperation based on a 24-nation group that excludes the United States.

via Mainichi

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency
trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza