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China's President Xi Jinping arrives to speak on the final day of the APEC CEO Summit, part of the summit of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders, in Danang, Vietnam, on Nov. 10.   © Reuters

Xi Jinping counters Trump on bilateral trade pacts, global warming

Favors multilateral agreements and reiterates goal of reducing CO2 emissions

KEN KOYANAGI, Editor-at-large | China

DANANG, Vietnam -- China's President Xi Jinping emphasized multilateralism in his keynote speech before global business leaders on Friday. His comments came immediately after U.S. President Donald Trump pushed for bilateral trade arrangements as opposed to multilateral schemes, including those of the World Trade Organization.

"Openness brings progress," Xi declared. He repeatedly called for support for economic globalization through multilateral schemes for free trades. "We  must support multilateralism and practice open regionalism to allow developing economies to benefit more from international trade and investment," he said, drawing big applause among the audience, which comprise many from China and other emerging economies. Xi also reiterated his aim to drive the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) initiative that China has been promoting for over a decade.

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