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In Obama's absence, China takes center stage at APEC

Secretary of State John Kerry (top 2nd L) chats to Russian President Vladimir Putin (top L) as they gather with (front L to R) South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak, China's President Xi Jinping, Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto and Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Bali on October 8, 2013.

At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Bali Tuesday, leaders of nearly two dozen countries discussed freer trade and bringing more stability to the global economy.

"The big issue in town is China," says the BBC's John Sudworth, who has been following the meeting. "[Chinese president] Xi Jinping has been left with a bit of bit of a starring role at the summit because of the notable absence of the U.S. president, and the one thing he's been really keen to reassure other leaders is that the Chinese economy, although slowing, is still remains on track, he says."

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