Far eastern territorial disputes are threatening to overshadow discussions between Asia Pacific ministers in Russia.
Two-day talks between the 21 APEC members continue today in the port city of Vladivostok ahead of the leaders’ summit at the weekend.
Tensions between members Japan, South Korea and China have recently resurfaced over decades-long territorial disputes.
Beijing has also become locked in rows with Vietnam and the Philippines over islands in the South China Sea.
Ministers are still keen to boost trade and investment at their summit. They are acutely aware that the Chinese economy is slowing down after more than three decades of double digit growth.
Russia in particular wants to boost the economy of its underdeveloped far-eastern region.
But there are fears Moscow is not serious enough about the investment needed increase exports to the rest of the Asia Pacific.
Following the ministers’ talks, leaders of the 21 APEC members are due to arrive for their own summit over the weekend.