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Top newsmakers of 2014

2. APEC in Beijing

US President Barack Obama, left, chats with Chinese President Xi Jinping as Russia's President Vladimir Putin, right, puts a blanket on Peng Liyuan, wife of Xi Jinping when they arrive to watch a fireworks show after a welcome banquet for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing, China Monday, Nov. 10, 2014. Photo: AP

Average Beijingers were privileged to enjoy a smog-less week during the economic leaders’ summit in November thanks to a legion of measures mandated by the government to curb emission and pollutants.

The meeting was hailed as “win-win” for US and China. President Xi Jinping and his counterpart Barack Obama also had a one-on-one meeting at Zhongnanhai, over a year after they spent a day in no-necktie talks at the Sunnylands retreat in California.

Among a host of landmark agreements reached by Xi and Obama, the most cheerful yield was the new visa deal. Business and short-term visas are valid for 10 years, while student and cultural exchange visas will last for five.

Another notable moment was an ice-breaking meeting between Xi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, which was seen as a breakthrough to end a two-year spat over history and territory. Their wooden handshake spoke volumes.

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the APEC summit in Beijing. Photo: AP

APEC China 2014

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