U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are expected to address leaders of the Pacific Rim on Friday amid heightened regional trade and geopolitical tensions.
China set the tone for the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting this week, with Xi warning in a video recording Thursday that the region must not return to the tensions of the Cold War era.
The comment was seen as a reference to efforts by the United States and its regional allies to blunt what they see as China's growing coercive economic and military influence.
Biden will address the gathering, the White House confirmed in a statement, adding he will discuss ongoing efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic and support global economic recovery.
"The president's participation demonstrates U.S. commitment to the Indo-Pacific region and to multilateral cooperation," the statement said.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has also confirmed that Xi will speak at the meeting via video link.
The APEC gathering comes ahead of a much-anticipated virtual summit between Biden and Xi on Monday, as the superpowers look to prevent growing tensions between the world's two biggest economies from spiraling toward conflict.
APEC is the last multilateral meeting of the year and comes after a flurry of gatherings including the high-profile G-20 summit in Rome and the COP26 climate meeting in Glasgow, Scotland.
APEC 2021 was hosted entirely online because of host New Zealand's hard-line pandemic control measures, which have kept its borders closed to almost all travelers for 18 months.
New Zealand has emphasized APEC support for fighting COVID-19, decarbonizing economies and growing sustainably.
At a special meeting called by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in June, APEC members pledged to expand the sharing and manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines and lift trade barriers for medicines.
APEC will be held in Thailand next year.
The United States has offered to host the 2023 round of APEC meetings for the first time in more than a decade, although a consensus has not been reached on this proposal, officials have said.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Canadian President Justin Trudeau are also expected to speak at the meeting.