Chile's President Gabriel Boric Font said Thursday in Bangkok, Thailand, that his administration had been pressured to say which side we are on in the escalating tension between China and the United States which is focused mainly on the issue of Taiwan.
Boric's remarks came on his first day in Thailand, where he is taking part in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, a group of which both countries are also members. The Chilean leader is scheduled to meet privately with his Chinese colleague Xi Jinping Friday.
We are facing a trade war between the United States and China and we are facing some pressures, not public, but private, to say which side we are on, Boric said. We as a sovereign country have the autonomy to have relations with the whole world and we want to increase our relations with both, he added.
It is a great honor for me to be in the first and most important university in Thailand, I am very impressed with the warm welcome I have been given and I am very excited to have this conversation with academics and students. I would like to say that our relationship with Asia-Pacific and especially with Thailand is not just about trade and that is one of the reasons why I am here. We have much more to share and learn from each other, Boric told the Chile, Latin America, and Asia Relations: Future Perspective at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, where he also read a poem by Pablo Neruda.
”Trade of course is very important (...), but we want to learn about their traditions and culture, Boric stressed before meeting with businessmen from the 21 APEC economies and will hold bilateral meetings with Japan and Canada. Reports on a planned meeting with US President Joseph Biden were yet to be confirmed.
After a very long trip, about 25 hours, we have landed here in Thailand to be able to carry out this continuous process of integration of our country, which I am proud to represent with the countries of Asia-Pacific and APEC, Boric said.
The South American leader is also scheduled to meet with the Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, and the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau.
I hope to bring good news to our country, both in terms of investment, reactivation of the economy, as well as cultural exchange and strengthening of democracy,” Boric said.
APEC was created in 1989 and is formed by 21 Pacific Rim countries including Australia, Brunei, Canada, China, Chile, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam.