Oct 30, 2019 - Economy

Chile cancels APEC and UN climate summits due to ongoing protests

Demonstrators clash with the riot police during a protest against President of Chile Sebastian Piñera after massive protests against his policies

Demonstrators clash with the riot police during a protest in Santiago, Chile. Photo: Claudio Santana/Getty Images

Chilean President Sebastián Piñera said Wednesday that the country will no longer host November's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit and December's UN global climate summit due to ongoing protests, per AP.

Why it matters: The APEC summit was considered a potential spot for President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to sign the promised "phase 1" agreement of a U.S.-China trade deal.

  • A meeting between Trump and Xi could still happen before a mid-December deadline to consider more tariffs, a personal familiar with the matter tells Axios.
  • U.S. officials are weighing their options in the wake of Chile's decision to cancel the APEC summit.

The big picture: For weeks, Chile has faced violent protests that have left over a dozen people dead — sparked by grievances over metro fare pricing and the nation's cost of living, particularly regarding education and health care.

  • Chile's foreign minister said just last week that there was "no chance" the summits would be called off, per Reuters. "I’m certain that under no circumstances will this come to impact the conferences."

What they're saying:

"Earlier today, I was informed of the decision by the Government of Chile not to host COP25 in view of the difficult situation that the country is undergoing. We are currently exploring alternative hosting options."
— UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa
"...it's our understanding the organization does not currently have a secondary site prepared. We’re awaiting potential information regarding another location.”
— White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley

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