Tension brimming over the Pacific Rim

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit was held November 8 to November 10, a couple of days before the G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia. It poses a series of questions that are worth analyzing in more depth.
First of all, the role of the United States. After the many foreign policy failures of President Barack Obama, followed by the Republican victory in the midterm elections, it seems Obama’s star was declining. Some would even add that America’s star as a leading power is declining in tandem with Obama’s. But before the summit was over, the US and China struck a landmark deal on climate change.
Second, relations between the US and Russia. After the Ukrainian crisis the two powers that faced off in the Cold War for more than 40 years seem to have started down a path similar to what had begun after the Second World War. The sanctions imposed by US and the European Union on Russia are cooling Russian-American relations and the challenge at APEC was to convince as many partners as possible to stand on one side rather than the other. But less than a week later Russia and China announced bilateral military cooperation and joint naval exercises to be held in 2015, due to concern over US attempts to bolster its military political influence in the Asia-Pacific.
Third, the China-Japan relations. The Abe-Xi handshake could be seen as a mere diplomatic formality, but in the view of many analysts it meant something else. Although the meaning was not entirely clear, one could only imagine it represented the positive first step towards a normalization.
Last but not least, economic issues. APEC is essentially an economic and financial summit, and leaders go there to find new investments to bring home, as Russia explicitly declared during the summit.
All these issues contribute to form a complex puzzle for international relations in Asia-Pacific relations. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether leaders will be able to overcome their divisions.