The Asia-Pacific is no one’s backyard and should not become an arena for a big power contest, said Chinese President Xi Jinping in Bangkok, Thailand, on Thursday.
No attempt to wage a new cold war in the region will ever be allowed, he added, according to state media reports.
Xi made the remarks in a written speech for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit on Thursday. He had been due to give an address to the business forum but then cancelled, organisers said.
The Chinese President is also expected to have talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, on the sidelines of APEC, later in the day.
US Vice President Kamala Harris and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese are among the leaders gathering for the APEC forum in Thailand, which starts Friday. French President Emmanuel Macron is a special guest.
Thailand’s Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said the meeting of the 21-member bloc “takes place at a pivotal juncture” with the world facing multiple risks.
The APEC meeting comes on the heels of the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Bali where Xi met his US counterpart Joe Biden for the first time since 2017.
The two leaders spoke on a number of difficult topics, according to the White House, including China’s “coercive and increasingly aggressive actions toward Taiwan,” Beijing’s “non-market economic practices,” and practices in “Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong, and human rights more broadly.”
- Reuters with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena