The Trump-Putin factor has focussed much attention, with all eyes on handshakes and words exchanged between the US and Russian leaders.
But other headlines are being made at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam.
On the sidelines there has been an annoucement of progress by countries in pursuing the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, despite the absence of the United States which has pulled out under President Trump.
Sticking to his ‘America First’ policy, Trump used the APEC summit in Danang on Friday to make clear that he was only interested in bilateral deals in Asia which would never put the United States at a disadvantage.
“Despite years of broken promises, we were told that someday soon, everyone would behave fairly and responsibly. We can no longer tolerate these chronic trade abuses and we will not tolerate them,” Trump said.
The United States has been reminded time and again in recent years that economic security is not merely RELATED to national security – economic security IS national security. It is vital to our national strength. #APEC2017 pic.twitter.com/8gKQUhit2X— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 10 novembre 2017
In contrast to Trump, who he has just hosted, China’s leader however used the same forum to stress multilateralism and say globalisation is an irreversible trend.
“We should continue to foster an open economy that benefits all. Openness brings progress while self-seclusion leaves one behind,” Xi Jinping told delegates.
Differences of opinion didn’t spoil the party though with APEC leaders getting together to celebrate a summit at which Trump, the new kid on the block, has definitely made his mark.
At the summit, Putin and Trump, in a joint statement on Syria, agreed to continue joint efforts on fighting ISIL until it is defeated, the Kremlin said on Saturday.
The two leaders also confirmed their commitment to Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and called on all parties to the Syrian conflict to take an active part in the Geneva political process.
President Trump and Russia’s President Putin chat before taking photo with world leaders at APEC Summit https://t.co/qns2Uue0yc— NBC News (@NBCNews) 11 novembre 2017