The growing rivalry between the United States and China has been evident at the APEC summit.
Presidents Barack Obama and Hu Jintao presented duelling agendas for boosting global growth – with Obama telling China to start “playing by the rules” and Hu criticising US moves towards a trade pact.
The broad outlines of a nine-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership have been worked out, with Japan now saying it wants to join too.
But the TPP would not involve China or Russia.
When Obama held talks with Russia’s President Dimitry Medvedev, they focused more on trying to close the gap between the two countries over Iran’s nuclear programme.
In the subsequent press conference, Medvedev discussed the euro crisis and even managed a joke.
“I remind you my name is Medvedev, not (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel, not (French President Nicolas) Sarkozy. Thank God, that I’m not Merkel or Sarkozy, because it’s so much more difficult for them now,” he laughed.
Many ordinary people in Hawaii where the summit is being held are not laughing however. And a range of anti-capatilism protests have been taking place.
The 21 members of the Asia Pacific Economic partnership account for more than half of global economic output.
With Europe and the US teetering on recession, fast-growing Asia – led by China – is seen by many as vital to sustaining the global economy.
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