A summit of 21 Asia-Pacific economies is underway outside Beijing amid China's efforts to boost its status as a regional leader in trade and finance.

President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin are among leaders joining Chinese President Xi Jinping at Tuesday's meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

The meeting is due to approve a two-year study of the Chinese-led Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific, despite American worries that it might distract from a separate, U.S.-promoted pact, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Leaders are also to endorse a regional anti-corruption initiative and discuss other matters.

Ahead of the summit on Monday, Xi met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and shared an awkward handshake seen as a gesture toward easing two years of tensions between Asia's biggest economies.