Photo: Reuters TV

Asia-Pacific leaders called on Thursday for open and multilateral trade to support a global economy battered by the novel coronavirus, and some hoped for more engagement with the United States under a Joe Biden administration.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, among the leaders at a virtual meeting of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, rejected protectionism and said globalisation was “irreversible”, a day before US President Donald Trump was expected to join in the gathering.

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