China will position itself as free trade’s new champion at an Asia-Pacific summit this weekend, with the Communist government seeking to project economic leadership as a US-led Pacific Rim trade pact languishes under President-elect Donald Trump. According to Reuters, Beijing aims to capitalize on the Trump-induced coma of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), with President Xi Jinping selling alternate visions for regional trade at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting this weekend in Peru. “If the US gives up its leadership here, of course China will take the role,” said Tu Xinquan, a trade expert at Beijing’s University of International Business and Economics, who has advised China’s government on trade issues. On the campaign trail, Trump labeled the TPP, championed by President Barack Obama, a “disaster.”
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