Asia Pacific Leaders to Condemn Terrorism After Paris Attacks

  • Nations stress urgent need for greater anti-terror cooperation
  • Draft communique: APEC faces challenges in boosting growth

Asia-Pacific leaders meeting in Manila plan to jointly condemn acts of terrorism, adding to displays of global unity after deadly attacks in Paris brought the specter of militancy further into the lives of ordinary people.

Heads of state including U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping will urge increased international cooperation in counter-terrorism, according to a draft of the communique for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit obtained by Bloomberg. The leaders’ retreat ends on Thursday.

“Under the shadow cast by the terrorist attack against the Russian aircraft over Sinai, and the attacks in Paris, Beirut, and elsewhere, we strongly condemn all acts, methods, and practices of terrorism in all their forms and manifestations," the draft statement said. “We will not allow terrorism to threaten the fundamental values that underpin our free and open economies.”

The Islamic State attacks on Paris, which left at least 129 dead, have overshadowed the meetings in Manila, which typically focus on economic topics. Group of 20 leaders pledged in Turkey to coordinate more to cut off money flows to terrorist groups, putting pressure on heads of Southeast Asian nations meeting in Malaysia this weekend to address the threat posed by local fighters returning from the battlefields of Syria and Iraq, alongside home-grown radicalism.

Malaysian Executed

The Manila meeting also comes as Malaysia confirmed its first citizen had been beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf Islamic militant group in the southern Philippines. The group killed the 39-year-old engineer on the island of Jolo because a ransom demand wasn’t met, the Star newspaper reported.

Leaders will also say the region faces challenges in boosting growth prospects even as they remain resilient, the draft communique showed.

“We met at a time when global growth is uneven and continues to fall short of expectation,” the draft said. “Risks and uncertainties remain in the global economy, including inadequate demand growth, financial volatility, and structural problems weighing on actual and potential growth.”

China is on pace for the slowest expansion in 25 years, a worry for Asia’s smaller economies which have become increasingly reliant on it for export demand. The region is also bracing for an increase in U.S. interest rates, which could cause capital to flow out of emerging economies.

‘Short of Expectations’

“Global growth continues to fall short of expectations,” Xi said in Manila on Wednesday as he relayed the conclusions of the G-20 meeting. “The global economy, which is on a course of slow recovery, is not yet on a solid base.”

Xi also acknowledged downside risks to Chinese growth while assuring fellow leaders that Asia’s biggest economy is resilient and will remain on the path of reform. China’s economy is coping with the “complicated internal and external environment, considerable downward pressure and the temporary pain of deep reforms,” he said.

— With assistance by Chris Blake

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