Apec 2013: Apec leaders meet in shadow of US shutdown
NUSA DUA, Indonesia (AFP) - Asia-Pacific leaders convened on Monday for an annual economic summit in the shadow of global growth clouds that are darkening by the day as the United States struggles to shake off policy paralysis.
The US government shutdown has stopped President Barack Obama from attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, which starts over lunch at 0500 GMT (1pm Singapore time).
That has worried US allies at a time when China is on the rise and Washington is trying to push through an ambitious 12-nation trade pact.
Mr Obama's enforced absence at both Apec and an East Asia summit straight afterwards in Brunei has left the stage clear for Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has been touring the region and will address a parallel meeting of Apec business leaders on Monday.