During his speech at the opening of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Vietnam, Chinese President Xi Jinping continued to promote his vision for “win-win” globalism, saying it has become “inevitable.”
"In pursuing economic globalization, we should make it more open and inclusive, more balanced, more equitable and beneficial to all … We need to take determined steps toward a free trade area of the Asia-Pacific in line with the agreed roadmap, and herald a new round of development in the Asia-Pacific in the course of opening up."
China had tried, unsuccessfully, to work its way into the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has since been dropped by the U.S. under President Donald Trump’s leadership. The president has said he aims to work out trade agreements that are more beneficial to the U.S. and its citizens.
The state-run Xinhua news agency has reported extensively on Xi’s activities at both APEC and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations gathering that followed in the Philippines. It chronicled meetings he held on the sidelines with South Korea, Vietnam, Japan, and the Philippines, as well as a new “upgraded” free trade agreement he signed with Chile.
Much of his attention, however, has been directed at Vietnam, which has its own globalism initiative under way called Two Corridors and One Economic Circle, which is similar to Xi’s Belt and Road initiative. According to Xinhua, the two sides agreed to “earnestly implement cooperation documents” related to jointly carrying out both initiatives and cooperate in areas of trade, investment, infrastructure, monetary policy, and economic cooperation.
This is a significant development. Nearly 40 years ago, the two communist countries fought a bloody border war, and resentment remains on the Vietnam side, particularly with Xi’s new expansionist agenda in the South China Sea.