US President Donald Trump has decided to skip the meeting. His deputy Mike Pence is there to reiterate the Trump administration’s “commitment” to keep the Indo-Pacific region free and open amid straining relations with Asian countries over the “America-first” policy.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is also in Singapore but it’s not clear whether he will meet Pence to discuss the trade dispute.
On the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific summit, Pence has already met Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi and told her that the persecution of Rohingya was inexcusable.
Al Jazeera’s Wayne Hay reports from Singapore.