US President Biden to skip APEC summit

US President Joe Biden will not attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ meeting in Bangkok due to “a family engagement”, Thai PBS learned last night.


The White House has just informed the Thai Embassy in Washington DC that the president has delegated Vice President Kamala Harris to represent him at the November 18th and 19th leaders’ meeting. Harris will fly to Bangkok and attend only the two-day summit.


According to a highly placed source, Biden will join the G20 summit in Bali on November 15th and 16th. His visit will take place a week after the mid-term elections in the US. He will fly to Bali and return to directly to Washington. Biden had previously planned to proceed to Bangkok for a one-day stopover to attend the APEC leaders’ meeting. Other leaders, including those of China and Russia, are scheduled to attend the meeting.


Indonesia will focus on three main pillars of its G20 2022 Presidency, namely Global Health Architecture, Sustainable Energy Transition and Digital Transformation.


Through these pillars, Indonesia will continue to take the lead on ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and promoting sustainable and inclusive economic development, through micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) participation and the digital economy.


As the chair, Indonesia has also invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to participate in the Bali meeting. Indonesian President Widodo Joko said that, during his visit to Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to come to Bali.


The ASEAN-related summit will be held in Phnom Penh from November 10th to 13th. The leaders of dialogue partners have confirmed their attendance, except for the US. China and Russia will be represented by their premiers.


The APEC meeting will take place at the newly renovated Queen Sirikit International Centre. Saudi Arabia will reportedly be the first Middle East country to attend the APEC leaders’ meeting, as a guest of the host.


Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service