China, Not Just Russia, Is Blocking APEC Meeting in US: Diplomatic Source

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Beijing wants to be in the ‘driver’s seat’ and is taking issue with Taiwan

Both Beijing and Moscow are blocking a U.S. proposal to host an upcoming meeting of Asian leaders, a diplomatic source told The Epoch Times in an exclusive interview on Nov. 17. Prior reporting claims it is only “suspected” that Russia alone blocked the proposal.

On Nov. 12, Politico revealed that the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum could not agree to President Joe Biden’s proposal to host an upcoming forum due to “concerns raised by one member nation.”

But according to The Epoch Times’ diplomatic source, both Russia and China blocked the proposal. China wishes to be in the “driver’s seat,” according to the source, and is making an issue of Taiwan and “other things.”

The United States and China “are competitors,” according to the source. “China is also getting stronger economically. It wants to flex its muscle. China wants to be in the driver’s seat.”

Russia and China could still relent and agree to the United States hosting the meeting. Decisions on where to host APEC meetings requires a consensus of all 21 countries.

According to the source, “both Russia and China are still ‘considering’ the APEC being held in the U.S.”

The source does not believe that China will take military action on Taiwan. “I’m not sure China will be too forceful on Taiwan,” he said. “They have a lot to lose.”

China’s embassy in Washington did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Because of potential retaliation, the diplomatic source did not wish to be identified.

Biden still has a chance of hosting APEC, according to the source. “Since it’ll be in 2023, there is still time to make a decision.”

On Nov. 12, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters that she has “every confidence that we’ll see [the impasse] resolved very shortly.”

According to Politico, “Neither Ardern nor the White House identified which APEC member was blocking the U.S. bid to host the meeting, but two former U.S. officials said indications point to Russia as the likely suspect.”

By Anders Corr

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