Chile Cancels APEC Trade Meet, Global Climate Summit as Protests Rage

Carlo Allegri/File Photo/Reuters

Chile has withdrawn as host of an APEC trade summit in November where the United States and China had been expected to take major steps toward ending a 15-month-old trade war that has slowed world economic growth.

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said he had taken the “painful” decision to cancel the summit in Santiago, as well as a high-profile international gathering on climate change in December, to focus on restoring law and order and pushing through a new social plan.

Riots, arson and protests over inequality this month have left at least 18 people dead, 7,000 arrested and Chilean businesses hit with losses of around $1.4 billion. The metro public transport system in the capital suffered nearly $400 million in damages.

The APEC summit was scheduled to bring together 20 world leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, on Nov. 16-17.

U.S. and Chinese negotiators were racing to have the text of an interim trade agreement ready in time for Trump and Xi to sign at the meeting.

Chile’s cancellation of the trade summit caught the Trump administration by surprise, a White House official told Reuters.

The official said Washington learned about the decision from news reports and is seeking more information.

Chile will also not be able to host the COP25 global climate summit between Dec. 2 and Dec. 13, said Pinera, who fired almost half his cabinet this week – including his finance, interior and economy ministers – in a bid to quell the protests, to little effect.

The climate summit would have brought delegates from around 190 nations to talks aimed at thrashing out details of how to reduce global emissions to meet the Paris climate agreement.

The cancellations are a further blow to Chile’s much-vaunted image as one of the most stable countries in Latin America.

“This has been a very difficult decision, a decision that causes us a lot of pain, because we fully understand the importance of APEC and COP-25 for Chile and for the world,” Pinera said in a brief statement from La Moneda presidential palace.

He said Chile was “deeply sorry for the problems and inconveniences that this decision will mean for both APEC and the COP. But as President of all Chileans I always have to put the problems and interests of the Chileans, their needs, their desires and their hopes.”

With Pinera’s popularity at an all-time low, Chileans were calling for new protests and the United Nations was sending a team to investigate allegations of human rights abuses by security forces.

(Reporting by Marion Giraldo; Writing by Aislinn Laing; Editing by Alistair Bell and Daniel Flynn)

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Phyllis Softa
Member

Thank you, Cherl, for the heads up on my typo. And I make chili once a year—the first day of deer season in PA, so I would love your recipe. I can not think of anyone that does not want less “hate” in America—Less character attacks, less hate crimes, less threats of violence, less conspiracies. I am 67, so I am able to recall a time when Americans could disagree without being disagreeable.

General Confusion
Member

“We (meaning those who will elect him again in 2020) pray that he will continue to lead this country to more success and less hate.” Cherl

You seem confused about what change is coming, Cherl.

Everything I hear indicates that the American Fascist Party is going to get wiped out, next year. Even internally the party is expecting to be DECIMATED.

2018 was just a [chili] taste test. So, what is your Plan B?

Cherl
Member

>Phyll< I believe it’s spelled Chile. Although I have an excellent recipe for chili if you’re interested. My prayers are different. We (meaning those who will elect him again in 2020) pray that he will continue to lead this country to more success and less hate.

Phyllis Softa
Member

Thank you Chili. When Trump is on the world stage, we pray he gets thru it without another Helsinki moment.

Paul
Member

With all of the distrust of the world toward China and, more so, toward America, it is wise of them to choose the safer side against possible violence.

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