World

Asia-Pacific leaders endorse work toward China-backed trade deal

  • U.S. President Barack Obama, left,  Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, arrive at the the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit plenary session at the International Convention Center, Yanqi, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014 in Beijing. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)

    U.S. President Barack Obama, left, Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, arrive at the the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit plenary session at the International Convention Center, Yanqi, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014 in Beijing. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • From left to right, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, U.S. President Barack Obama and Indonesian President Joko Widodo, popularly known as "Jokowi", arrive at the the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit plenary session at the International Convention Center, Yanqi, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014 in Beijing, China. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)

    From left to right, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, U.S. President Barack Obama and Indonesian President Joko Widodo, popularly known as "Jokowi", arrive at the the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit plenary session at the International Convention Center, Yanqi, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014 in Beijing, China. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, looks back at U.S. President Barack Obama, left, as they arrive with Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, at the the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit plenary session at the International Convention Center, Yanqi, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014 in Beijing. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, looks back at U.S. President Barack Obama, left, as they arrive with Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, at the the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit plenary session at the International Convention Center, Yanqi, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014 in Beijing. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

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."