APEC leaders lay out their vision as protests mar summit | News | DW | 19.11.2015
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APEC leaders lay out their vision as protests mar summit

Asian and world leaders have outlined their goals on a variety of issues as the annual summit wraps up. Their declaration comes amid increasing tension around the world following the Paris terrorist attacks.

Leaders from 21 countries shared highlights from their meeting in Manila on Thursday as the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit concluded.

In a declaration, participants touched upon a variety of issues - from terrorism to climate change to economic growth - as they pushed their vision for more "inclusive economies" and "a better world."

"Under the shadow cast by the terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut, and against Russian aircraft over the Sinai, and elsewhere, we strongly condemn all acts, methods, and practices of terrorism in all their forms and manifestations," the declaration read.

Leaders went on to push for growth as a method to combat terrorism: "Economic growth, prosperity, and opportunity are among the most powerful tools to address the root causes of terrorism and radicalization."

Ahead of the Paris Climate Conference in December, the countries also "reaffirmed" what they called an "aspirational goal" to reduce aggregate energy intensity by 45 percent by 2035, and to double renewable energy output by 2030.

Turmoil on the streets

As the summit drew to a close, around 1,000 demonstrators protesting the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal took to the streets of Manila not far from where leaders were meeting.

Waving placards with slogans like "Junk APEC" and "Down with the Puppet US-Aquino Regime" - referring to Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, a staunch US ally - the protestors were met by police wielding water cannons and batons.

Left-wing politician Renato Reyes, the leader of the protests, said "APEC and imperialist globalization have only benefitted the rich countries while futher impoverishing developing countries like the Philippines."

No one was seriously hurt in the clashes, and the protestors eventually pulled back after scuffles with the police, according to German news agency DPA.

The extensive trade agreement, which, if passed, would be the largest of its kind, has also drawn criticism from China and Russia, who have called it exclusionary. China is currently seeking approval for its own regional deal, the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).

In the summit declaration, leaders said they remained committed to the eventual realization of the FTAAP.

blc/msh (AFP, AP, dpa)

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