Online APEC summit to open late on Friday

Leaders of 21 Asia-Pacific economies will shortly begin an online meeting to discuss recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other issues.

New Zealand is chairing the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum overnight local time on Friday. Japan, the United States and China are among the participants.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a statement on Monday that "the meeting will focus on charting a path to recovery out of this once-in-a-century crisis."

She urged members to cooperate for the fair distribution of coronavirus vaccines, and for the promotion of a digital economy.

Another focus is how the leaders will address the bids of China and Taiwan to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP.

The APEC forum includes all 11 members of the CPTPP, as well as the US, which pulled out of the deal.

China and Taiwan both filed their bids in September. During the summit, they are likely to explain their positions on joining the free-trade pact.

The leaders are due to adopt a joint declaration at the end of the talks.