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Wed, 11/21/2018 - 12:21
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APEC forum ‘on the decline’ as political platform, Russian expert predicts

KUALA LUMPUR /Malaysia/, November 21. /TASS/. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum can survive as an economic tool but its influence as a political platform is waning, Georgy Toloraya, Director of the Asian Strategy Center at the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said on Wednesday, addressing the session of the Valdai Discussion Club. According to him, the recent events showed that the "APEC format as a political platform is probably on the decline and will continue to work exclusively as an economic tool." The expert believes that the "center of influence is now shifting towards the East Asia Summit (EAS) and other events associated with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)."It is very important and symbolic that Russian President Vladimir Putin had visited the East Asia Summit in Singapore at this critical time," Toloraya emphasized. He added, "ASEAN partners previously expressed some discontent that the Russian leadership hadn’t attended the EAS, although Moscow was one of the creators of this format." "Now the Association is becoming a balancing and neutral power in the region," the expert stressed. Meanwhile, Vice-President of China Foreign Affairs University, Gao Fei, believes that the "APEC has a bright future ahead against all odds. "This is a vital and huge platform, to which many states and territories have access," he noted. Commenting on the last APEC summit in Papua New Guinea, the expert expressed confidence that the "Chinese delegation hadn’t blocked the adoption of the final statement." According to Gao Fei, the challenges that had emerged were due to "different approaches by the participants on multilateral trade." Read more