The APEC conference in Peru is the perfect place for Xi Jinping to launch a campaign that could see China become top dog in Pacific trade - and cut out the Unites States. As Graham Mackay reports, with Donald Trump threatening to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Beijing's in a unique position.
A lame duck president... And a tiger waiting to pounce. It's advantage China at the APEC conference in Peru this weekend. As Donald Trump looks to kill off the Trans-Pacific Partnership... President Xi Jinping is ready to push an alternative trade vision... That doesn't include the U.S. Barrack Obama is attending his final APEC meeting... He's a long-time backer of TPP - which doesn't include China but he's given up trying to squeeze the deal through congress before Trump takes office... Paving the way for Xi to step up. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BILL TARRANT, REUTERS TOP NEWS EDITOR, SAYING: "President Obama had long argued that one of the Primary arguments for TPP from the Unites States point of view was that America would be writing the rules of trade and calling the shots. He viewed it as a kind of economic NATO in this region. Now with the death - apparent death of TPP, China is in the driver's seat when it comes to writing those rules of trade." Xi's efforts to lead Pacific trade go hand in hand with other soft power plans - aimed at cementing China's economic influence. So how is the are the APEC nation expect to respond to the pitch? (SOUNDBITE) (English) BILL TARRANT, REUTERS TOP NEWS EDITOR, SAYING: "They're probably going to be more receptive. The Asia Pacific cooperation forum, which is meeting this weekend in Peru, has been for years trying to create a free trade zone Around the Pacific Rim. The China version of the free trade zone now becomes the more logical pathway. Ironically, this Communist country will look like the leader of the free trade movement in this region". Some experts are now warning president-elect Donald Trump to tread carefully... saying if he pulls out of TPP, and other accords like Iran and the climate change agreement... China could soon end up looking like the more responsible power.