China and USA clash on trade at heated APEC summit

Randal Sanchez
November 17, 2018

But when US Vice President Mike Pence addressed the assembly, he said Washington would not back down in its trade dispute with China and could double its tariffs unless Beijing agreed to its demands.

Pence also attacked China's global infrastructure "Belt and Road" initiative, calling numerous projects low quality and saying it left developing countries with debt they were unable to afford.

In a major speech, Xi also stressed that there would be no winners from a trade war or a new cold war amid increasing rivalry between the world's top two economies.

Speaking just before Pence, Chinese President Xi Jinping called trade protectionism a short-sighted policy doomed to fail. "We don't offer a constricting belt or a one-way road". Later, Pence told reporters he was "very hopeful" the US and China could reach a deal, but "things have to change" for that to happen.

"We hope for better, but the United States will not change course until China changes its ways".

"We are witnessing a rising tide of trade protectionism along with financial volatility in some emerging economies", Morrison said.

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The port city is effectively on lockdown with a heavy police presence and warships from the US, Australia and New Zealand patrolling offshore.

According to the AP, a US official told reporters traveling with Pence that the vice president had had a "pull-aside" meeting with Chang, though he failed to provide any further details about the content or length of the meeting.

In his own address, Xi defended the policy, saying there was no "hidden political agenda...nor is it a trap as some people have labelled it".

"Mankind has once again reached a crossroads", Xi remarked. Cooperation or confrontation? Openess or closing doors. Malaysia's 93-year-old Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said it will become irrelevant if developing nations continue to be left behind by globalization and free trade. "The American people know that we have to do something to reset this relationship with China economically".

Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke of the need for global cooperation and worldwide trade, telling the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit there was no issue that countries couldn't work out "through consultation".

"It is a powerful narrative which we frame and the perception and perspective of our region, away from the enduring narrative of small, isolated and fragile to that of large, connected and strategically important ocean continent", Waqa said.

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