Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, also known as APEC, is a regional economy forum. It started in 1989 after the initial suggestion from Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke for the more effective economic cooperation across the Asia-Pacific Rim. With the years of development, APEC has gradually grown into the highest cooperation system of Asia-Pacific Rim.
Now, APEC is becoming the main force of promoting free trade, investment liberalization and technical cooperation among the 21 member economies, which include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong of China, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, The Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, The United States and Viet Nam.
Ever since it officially acceded to APEC in 1991, China has been an active participant in APEC meetings and a steadfast executor of APEC goals and decisions. In Sep. of 2012, President Hu Jingtao declared on the APEC Vladivostok that China decided to take over the chairmanship of APEC 2014 summit meetings.
Beijing becomes the second city in China to organize APEC meetings. The first APEC city of China is Shanghai. In 2001, Shanghai successfully hosted APEC and Shanghai Accord was endorsed by the APEC leaders.
The exact meeting site of APEC 2014 will be Yanqihu, Huairou District, Beijing. Huairou is not in the center of the capital city. It is only a suburb of Beijing. In 1995, Huairou once held the fourth World Conference on Women. APEC 2014 might be biggest international event Huairou ever hosted in the past 13 years.
Many people are perhaps not very familiar with Yanqihu, Huairou. Regarding the question why selecting Yanqihu as the venue, the government has their own reasons. First of all, it seems to be the trend for most economy members of APEC to arrange the meetings in their scenic cities, which can boost both the national tourism and local economy. For example, APEC 2013 was held in Bali, Indonesia. APEC 2012 took place in Vladivostok of Russia. APEC 2011 happened in Honolulu of the United States. All these places are the combination of natural scenery and traditional cultures, exhibiting the best features of their own countries. The APEC meetings make these cities world famous.
Besides the economic concerns, one of the most important factors for Beijing to choose Yanqihu, Huairou as the meeting place is that Yanqihu has good air quality. Unlike the center of Beijing, Yanqihu enjoys the surroundings of mountains on three directions: Jundu Mountain on the north, Hongluo Mountain on the west and Jindeng Mountain on the east, which protects the Yanqihu against the sandstorms and gives the whole Yanqihu park the best picture of the nature in all 4 seasons.
The name of Yanqihu means the lake for the wild geese to rest. The water quality of the lake is also very good. Many aquatic animals live in Yanqihu including fish, shrimps, turtles and giant salamander. Therefore birds like swans, wild geese and cranes flock in the park of Yanqihu as the lake provides delicious foods for them to rest and live.
Yanqihu is the paradise not only for the flying birds, but also for the visiting tourists. The park has prepared more than 40 water and land activities for the visitors. From the indoor gym to the outdoor sports, from the exciting diving to the special water screen movies, every moment in Yanqihu is a brand new experience.
Lately Beijing has been criticized many times for the air pollution. The meeting site in Yanqihu shows the determination of Beijing to improve its environment and develop the sustainable economy without risking the nature.
Another watching focus about APEC Beijing 2014 is the food. With what kinds of food will Beijing cater to the APEC leaders in 2014? Back to APEC Shanghai 2011, a dish called Braised Matsutake in Chicken Soup won the favor of many APEC leaders. At that time, the dinner menu consisted of one cold dish, four hot dishes, one dissert and fruits. All the raw materials of the food were made in China.
For the food of APEC Beijing 2014, it can be expected that some local Beijing foods will be shown to the APEC leaders, which is also a good window to promote traditional Beijing snacks. Some of the delicious Moslem snacks like Lvdagunr and Aiwowo are within the consideration.
The third interest about APEC Beijing 2014 will be the fashion element. The fashion photos of APEC leaders can always occupy the front pages of the world newspapers. Nearly all the organizers will design their traditional costumes for the leaders. For instance, in 1996, the Philippines offered Barong Shirts. In 1997, Canada offered Leather Jackets. In 1998, Malaysia offered Batik Shirts. In 1999, New Zealand offered Sailing Jackets. In 2000, Brunei Darrusalam offered Kain Tenunan Shirts. In 2001, Shanghai of China offered Tangzhuang. In 2002, Mexico offered Guayabera Shirts for males and Huipiles for females. In 2013, Indonesia offered Endek Bali Shirts.
Fashion is the eye-catching poster of the organizer’s uniqueness. It becomes one of the highlights during the APEC summits. There is no better ad than all the leaders dressed on the characteristic costumes of the hosting member appear in TV and newspapers. Many Chinese people recommend Mao Suit, which is also known as the Chinese Tunic Suit. In China, people call it Zhongshan Zhuang because the founding father of Republic of China—Dr. Sun Yat-sen introduced the style of Mao suit. After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, Mao suit became the national costume for Chinese males. Another traditional fashion for females will be Qipao, which is one of the best dresses to show the s-lines of females.
The role of APEC in promoting free trade and the economic development of member economies is self-evident. China hopes to build a closer relationship with all the members in APEC Beijing 2014 and form a truly harmonious community in the Asia-Pacific region. Yanqilu is extending its warm arms to all the members and visitors. Welcome to Beijing in Oct. of 2014.