Trump to represent US at this week's APEC summit?

Trump to represent US at this week's APEC summit, official says

The White House has declined to comment on the subject

US Presidenti Donald Trump. Credit: AFP

US President Donald Trump plans to represent the United States at a virtual Asia-Pacific summit this week in which his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping also plans to participate, a U.S. official told Reuters.

Trump's participation in the November 20 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum hosted by Malaysia will be his first in the event since 2017, the only time he has participated.

"POTUS is doing APEC," said an US official, who did not want to be identified, using the acronym for the President of the United States.

The White House declined to comment and while the current plan is for Trump to take part in APEC, he is preoccupied with an uphill battle to contest his defeat in the Nov. 3 presidential election. In the past, he has changed his mind about taking part in such meetings.

The news comes after Trump's outgoing administration faced criticism for lower-level participation at last weekend's virtual East Asia summit, on the sidelines of which 15 countries signed a major China-backed regional trade deal.