Pence, China's Xi trade tough talk at Pacific summit

  • Pence, China's Xi trade tough talk at Pacific summit

Pence, China's Xi trade tough talk at Pacific summit

USA and Chinese leaders presented opposing visions for the world in back-to-back speeches at the 2018 APEC conference in Papua New Guinea on Saturday, amid rising tensions between the world's two major powers.

"We have taken decisive action to address our imbalance with China", Pence said.

On Saturday, Pence warned that Trump could still put more tariffs on China.

His speech was a clear reference to the escalating trade war between the United States and China, along with the general protectionism of the USA president, Donald Trump.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad warned the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) bloc today to deal with the "age of disruption" or risk becoming irrelevant.

President Trump was not at the summit, but will meet with Jinping in at the G-20 summit in Argentina that begins later this month, Reuters reported.

In his speech, the Chinese president spoke against unilateralism and trade protectionism - veiled swipes at the Trump Administration's America First trade policies.

He also took aim at China's territorial ambitions in the Pacific and, particularly, Mr. Xi's Belt and Road Initiative to expand land and sea links between Asia, Africa and Europe with billions of dollars in infrastructure investment. 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.

Can the USA and China resolve their differences? He said intellectual property rights are important to protect innovation but they shouldn't widen the digital gap between countries.

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.

"The United States though will not change course until China changes its ways", he told delegates gathered on a cruise liner tethered in Port Moresby's Fairfax Harbour.

One of the complaints about Xi's signature Belt and Road policy has been the accusation that it overburdens poor countries with debt, which could leave them dependent on China.

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

"The United States offers a better option".

China's efforts to win friends in the resource-rich Pacific have been watched warily by the traditionally influential powers in the region - Australia and the US.

Trump has skipped the annual meeting of the 21-nation grouping, but the USA vice-president, Mike Pence, is attending.