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Chinese president Xi Jinping will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, which will take place in Bangkok on 14 – 19 November, Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said on Monday (31 October).

Don Pramudwinai

Matichon Online reported that Don told reporters during Monday’s press conference at Government House that Xi is among 6 – 7 world leaders to attend the summit as “special guests” of the Thai government.

Don also said that all 21 APEC members will be sending representatives to the Summit, but did not confirm how many state leaders will be in attendant. The Thai government is also waiting for confirmation from Russia whether President Vladimir Putin will attend the summit himself.

The attendance of French President Emmanuel Macron, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman al-Saud, Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has also been confirmed.

Cherdchai Chaivaivid, director-general of the Department of International Economics Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Thailand’s Senior APEC Official, said yesterday (1 November) that 15 APEC leaders have confirmed that they will attend the summit, while South Korea, Malaysia, and Mexico will be sending representatives.

Meanwhile, according to a statement from the US government, Vice President Kamala Harris will attend the APEC summit on 18 – 19 November to “underscore the U.S. commitment to economic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region” and “outline U.S. goals for our APEC host year in 2023,” as well as meet Thai leaders and civil society representatives to “reaffirm and strengthen the U.S.-Thai Alliance and to discuss our cooperation across a range of issues.”

Harris is attending the summit on behalf of President Joe Biden, who will miss the summit because he is hosting his granddaughter Naomi Biden’s wedding at the White House on 19 November. However, Biden will attend the annual US-ASEAN summit and the East Asia Summit, while will be held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on 12 -13 November, and will be in Bali, Indonesia on 13 – 16 November for the G20 Leaders’ Summit.

In preparation for the Summit, the Thai cabinet has declared a three-day government holiday in Bangkok ,Nonthaburi, and Samut Prakan on 16 – 18 November to clear the roads for motorcades transporting leaders to and from the summit.

Phakhawat Tansakul, director-general of the Department of Diplomatic Procedures, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also said that the route from the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre (QSNCC) to Chakri Maha Prasat in the Grand Palace, the Royal Thai Navy Convention Hall, and the hotels where the leaders will be staying will be closed on Sunday (6 November) at 19.00 for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the police headquarters to rehearse their procedures for the motorcades. The route from the QSNCC to airports and the hotels will also be closed in the evening of 12 November for another rehearsal.

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