APEC Forum: U.S. Foreign Policy Shift Needed for Results
As global leaders converge on San Francisco for the 30th meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum from November 11th to 17th, expectations run high for potential breakthroughs in international economic collaboration. However, experts interviewed by Sputnik News caution that significant outcomes are unlikely unless the U.S. implements a dramatic shift in its foreign policy stance, particularly towards China.
U.S.-China Relations at a Crossroads
Of particular interest as the meeting approaches is the participation of Chinese President Xi Jinping and his scheduled bilateral encounter with U.S. President Joe Biden. Relations between Washington and Beijing have soured considerably since the trade war initiated under former President Donald Trump and perpetuated by the current U.S. administration.
Recent times have seen heightened tensions over Taiwan following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island and the downing of a Chinese weather balloon, which the U.S. claimed was a spying device—a charge China denies.
In line with these developments, the U.S. has also intensified its military strategy in the Indo-Pacific region and is waging a technological war against China by restricting sales of microchips to the Asian giant, along with other efforts that seek to curb the economic growth of what the World Bank estimates to be the second-largest economic power in the world.
A Need for Rapprochement
Dagoberto Amparo Tello, head of the Department of Pacific Studies at the University of Guadalajara’s Center for Social Sciences and Humanities, shared with Sputnik News that the estrangement between the U.S. and China has fostered regional uncertainty in the Asia-Pacific. He stressed the need for conciliation between the leaders to ease asperities and foster a stronger understanding on economic growth and bilateral cooperation.
However, Amparo Tello underlined that APEC typically does not delve deeply into political issues, given its primary focus on economic and commercial themes.
Mexico’s Strategic Role in APEC
Within the context of APEC discussions, Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has reversed his earlier decision not to attend, owing to a diplomatic fallout with the government of Dina Boluarte, whom he deems illegitimate. His attendance signifies a keen interest in the summit and the opportunity to discuss concerns related to migratory flows to the U.S., among other structural issues.
Professor Alejandro Martínez Serrano of the University National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) remarked on the importance of Mexico’s participation in the Forum, as it is not open to all countries, citing unsuccessful membership requests from Colombia and Panama, despite their considerable economic activity and Pacific coastline access.
Dim Prospects for Substantial Outcomes
Sebastián Diego Delgado Dávila, a political science and public administration expert from UNAM, commented on the pivotal role of APEC members as the engine of the global economy in recent years. However, he expressed skepticism regarding the possibility of significant resolutions resulting from the summit, particularly the bilateral meeting between Xi Jinping and Joe Biden.
While Delgado Dávila acknowledged the potential benefits for member countries from the commercial war—for instance, through the process of nearshoring—he concluded that such economic conflicts between major powers do not bode well for long-term global dynamism. In his view, without a drastic U.S. foreign policy pivot toward China, the trade war initiated by Trump is likely to persist.
Focusing on important issues at the Forum, such as Middle Eastern conflicts, the Ukrainian situation, North Korea, Taiwan, and the Indian Ocean, the upcoming APEC meeting promises a broad agenda. Yet, the prospects for resolving existing problems or offering new perspectives remain slim, according to the experts’ analysis.
As the APEC Summit unfolds, the eyes of the world will be on San Francisco, with anticipation for a turning point in U.S.-China relations and the broader economic assurances that may come from it.
Courtesy: Sputnik Mundo