Xi Jinping made the remarks in a written speech for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, meeting in Bangkok, Thailand on Friday and Saturday.


Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned rival powers against meddling in the Asia-Pacific, saying the region is “no one's backyard and should not become an arena for big power contest”. 

As reported by Chinese state media, Xi made the remarks on Thursday in a written speech ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, due to take place in Bangkok, Thailand, on Friday and Saturday.

“No attempt to wage a new Cold War will ever be allowed by the people or by our times,” he added in the speech.

The comments come days after the Chinese president held his first face-to-face meeting with US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the G20 summit, and as relations between Beijing and Washington hit historic lows amid tensions over Taiwan and North Korea, and simmering differences over the war in Ukraine and human rights.

READ MORE: Geopolitical tensions over Ukraine to overshadow APEC summit in Bangkok

APEC negotiations

The war in Ukraine, great power rivalry Asia, inflation and food and energy shortages are on the agenda at the APEC meeting as leaders from the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum will meet formally in closed-door sessions.

For some, it will be at least the third such opportunity for face-to-face talks in the past two weeks. However, US Vice President Kamala Harris is attending instead of President Joe Biden, who will be hosting his granddaughter’s wedding at the White House.

APEC’s official mission is to promote regional economic integration. Most of the business conducted happens on the summit’s sidelines in meetings such as a planned meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

The two Asian powers have a legacy of frictions due to territorial disputes since World War II. Mao Ning, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said the encounter would “carry great importance.”

Xi, Harris and French President Emmanuel Macron will also speak at a business conference, held just ahead of the summit meetings, which is mostly closed to media apart from outlets sponsoring the event.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a tweet that the ministers had “reaffirmed the need to work together to promote balanced, inclusive, and sustainable growth in the Asia Pacific region."

Thailand hoped to have all members agree on a set of targets for meeting the challenges of climate change, promoting sustainable trade and investment and environmental goals, said Cherdchai Chaivaivid, director-general of Thailand’s Department of International Economic Affairs.

The wording of any statement on Ukraine would be the “most challenging element of our negotiations," he told reporters Tuesday after talks in the morning.

“I am cautiously optimistic that we should be able to reach a good level of consensus. The thing is, are we going to reach consensus on every single issue in the draft or not? That remains to be answered by all senior officials working around the clock during the next few days," he said.

APEC members account for nearly four of every 10 people and almost half of world trade. Its official mission is to promote regional economic integration, which means setting guidelines for the long-term development of a free trade area.

Most of its work is technical and incremental, carried out by senior officials and ministers, covering areas such as trade, tourism, forestry, health, food, security, small and medium-size enterprises and women’s empowerment.

Leaders from the 21 economies on both sides of the Pacific Ocean often take the opportunity to conduct bilateral talks and discuss side deals. The Latin American contingent comes from Chile, Mexico and Peru. Other members are Australia, Brunei, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.

Russian officials have stated that President Vladimir Putin will not attend the meeting and First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov will stand in for him at APEC.

That leaves Chinese leader Xi as the star attendee in Bangkok, where he also is making an official visit to Thailand just after obtaining a rare third term as top leader at a once-in-five years Communist Party congress.

READ MORE: ‘Red line’: Taiwan dominates Xi-Biden talks in Bali

Source: TRTWorld and agencies