China, US lock horns anew — Clash of Titans

18 November, 2018, 13:52 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • A local sits at a bus stop displaying a China Aid emblem and an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation banner in central Port Moresby the capital city of the poorest nation in the 21-member APEC group in Papua New Guinea

Xi also lashed out at "America First" trade protectionism, saying it was a "short-sighted approach" that was "doomed to failure".

Leaders of the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) bloc at the Apec 2018 Summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea November 18, 2018. He called for a stronger World Trade Organization and defended his signature Belt-and-Road Initiative, saying it's "not a trap as some people have labeled it".

China and the USA traded verbal blows yesterday in keynote speeches, with the U.S. urging countries not to sign up for huge foreign debts, and China promising there was no hidden agenda with its infrastructure program.

Pence warned smaller countries not to be seduced by China's massive "Belt and Road" program, which sees Beijing offer money to poorer countries for construction and development projects. Trump and Xi are scheduled to meet a few weeks from now at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires.

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Asked about the incident, Chinese Foreign Ministry official Zhang Xiaolong told reporters: "It's not true".

Speaking in the PNG capital of Port Moresby on Saturday, US Vice-President Mike Pence said the US would not change its course with China, warning that the US could "more than double" the tariffs already placed on $250 billion of Chinese goods. China has slapped tariffs on $110 billion in imports from the U.S. in retaliation. Why did they make this kind of request that puts pressure on China?

It's understood China and the USA could not agree on language about reforms to the World Trade Organisation, and China opposed levelling the playing field against state-owned enterprises. He said intellectual property rights are important to protect innovation but they shouldn't widen the digital gap between countries.

The weekend's annual gathering, held for the first time in Papua New Guinea, was overshadowed by speeches from Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pence, which appeared to represent competing bids for regional leadership. Consisting of the US, Japan, India and Australia, the group met in Singapore in the past week to discuss ways to cooperate. "Give me one example", he said. "History has shown that confrontation - whether in the form of a cold war, hot war or trade war - will produce no winners", he said. Trump made a decision to skip the summit in Papua New Guinea, leaving the door open for Xi, who arrived two days earlier for a state visit and has been the undoubted star of the show.

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In his speech Saturday, Pence announced the United States would be building a military base in Papua New Guinea, in cooperation with Australia, further entrenching Washington's military presence in Asia and the Pacific.

"I don't know why they are worrying about Xinjiang's situation".

Trade talks between the two countries have resumed with hopes for a resolution to the accelerating trade war. "The United States deals openly and fairly".

'Damaging' "By withdrawing from multilateral trade agreements and pursuing unilateral tit-for-tat tariffs that are damaging not just for the United States and China, but for the broader regional and global trading system, the Trump administration is putting itself at odds with America's Asian allies and partners", he said. For his part, Pence vowed U.S. tariffs would remain in place unless Beijing "changes its ways".

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