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Biden, Xi early headliners as leaders gather in California for Asia-Pacific summit

SAN FRANCISCO — Its 21 member economies represent nearly three billion people and 62 per cent of the world’s GDP, generating US$30 trillion in global trade last year alone. 

But as Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders gather in San Francisco, the focus — for now, at least — will be on just two of them.

U.S. President Joe Biden sits down Wednesday with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, hoping to iron out some of the kinks in their fraught bilateral relationship.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan calls it “intense diplomacy” aimed at ensuring that healthy competition doesn’t devolve into dangerous conflict.

Experts say that dynamic will likely make it difficult for Canada to make much of a geopolitical splash in the Bay Area this week. 

But federal officials say they expect tangible progress from  a busy slate of bilateral meetings during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s three-day visit. 

The summit comes one year since the Liberal government unveiled a new $2.3-billion Indo-Pacific strategy aimed at fortifying regional alliances as a hedge against China’s expansive power. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 14, 2023. 

The Canadian Press