HUAIROU, China – Asia-Pacific leaders have agreed to work toward possible adoption of a free-trade deal promoted by China, a win for Beijing in its quest for a bigger role in managing trade policy.
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the decision Tuesday after a two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit of leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama and Russia's Vladimir Putin.
He said they agreed to launch a two-year study of the proposal, a first step in a lengthy process toward possible adoption.
China is promoting the proposed Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific despite U.S. pressure to wrap up other trade negotiations. Analysts see it as a response to a U.S.-led initiative, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which includes 12 countries but excludes China.
Xi, the meeting's host, called the decision a "historic step."