Asia-Pacific leaders fail to reach consensus on APEC communique

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (C) and China’s President Xi Jinping at APEC Haus during the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea November 17, 2018. Mick Tsikas/Pool via REUTERS

PORT MORESBY (Reuters) – A Chinese official said on Sunday that Asia-Pacific leaders could not issue the traditional communique at the end of the regional APEC forum, held in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

PNG will instead issue a “chairman’s statement”, said Zhang Shaogang, director-general of China’s international department at the Ministry of Commerce.

Disagreement over the future of multilateral trade was a sticking point, PNG Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato told Reuters earlier.

(This version of the story corrects paraphrase of PNG foreign minister to clarify trade was a sticking point)

Reporting by Jonathan Barrett in PORT MORESBY; Editing by Himani Sarkar and David Evans

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