Chile pulls out as host of Apec, COP25 summits

A demonstrator with a Mapuche indigenous flag and a mask reading "No more death" protests against the Chilean government's economic policies in the surroundings of La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago on Oct 29, 2019.
A demonstrator with a Mapuche indigenous flag and a mask reading "No more death" protests against the Chilean government's economic policies in the surroundings of La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago on Oct 29, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

Chile yesterday made the shock announcement that it was withdrawing as the host of two major summits because of widespread protests - leaving the fates of November's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit and the COP25 climate summit in December up in the air.

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said that while it was a "difficult decision", common sense dictated that Chile focus on its other priorities.

The country is dealing with its worst social crisis in decades and has been racked by street protests over the state of its economy.

The cancellation casts doubt on a planned meeting in Chile between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Mr Trump had said he would sign an interim trade deal with Mr Xi at the Apec summit.

SEE TOP OF THE NEWS: Riot-torn Chile will not hold Apec, COP25 meetings

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2019, with the headline 'Chile pulls out as host of Apec, COP25 summits'. Print Edition | Subscribe