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Wednesday, November 12, 2014, Kartik 28, 1421, Muharram 18, 1436 Hijr


Bangladesh intends to join APEC, says Hamid
Observer Online Desk
Publish Date : 2014-11-12,  Publish Time : 23:05,  View Count : 7
Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid, who attended the APEC summit as an observer, expressed a desire to join the organization, and requested his Chinese hosts for opportunities to join other regional forum, according to China Central Television.

"APEC's trade facilitation efforts, especially in the form of the Trade Facilitation Action Plan, are a commendable step to this end," Hamid said while requesting that Bangladesh be made a member.

Chinese President Xi Jinping emerged stronger after the two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, which was known to have been dominated by the United States in the recent past. APEC accepted two important proposals that were pushed by China, according to news received in Dhaka.

India, which did not attend despite being invited to join as an observer, may have to consider the implications as its neighbours Pakistan and Bangladesh attended as observers. Xi had invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend during their meeting in September.

Xi clearly stole the show at the summit, with US President Barack Obama talking about accommodating China, observers said.

Leaders of Asia-Pacific countries agreed to move towards a new free-trade zone strongly backed by China.

The Beijing-supported Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) is regarded as a challenge to the Transpacific Partnership (TPP), the US trade pact that excludes China and Russia and South Asia.

Though Obama said the US-backed TPP was not meant to contain China's influence, it was clear China had created a powerful rival to it in the form of the FTAAP.

"Currently, the global economic recovery still faces many unstable and uncertain factors," Xi said. "Facing the new situation, we should further promote regional economic integration and create a pattern of opening up that is conducive to long-term development."

The 21-nation APEC agreed to establish an anti-corruption network, which China needs more than any other country. Xi's government is engaged in a major anti-graft crackdown but feels hampered by some foreign countries that provide visas and residency to fleeing officials accused of swindling funds.

The Philippines, a US ally engaged in opposing China over the ownership of South China Sea islands, received largesse from Chinese functionaries.

The presence of Japanese and Philippine leaders will make it easy for China to deal with territorial disputes in the East China Sea and South China Sea.

Beijing's success in softening at least three territorial rivals - Japan, Philippines and Vietnam - has serious implications for India, which has a major border dispute with China.

  BSS/ZA






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