APEC summit sees China and United States at odds over trade war

Posted November 17, 2018

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". "We don't offer a constricting belt or a one-way road".

Pence warned Saturday that USA sanctions and pressure on China would remain in place until Beijing reforms its trade practices. He warned against taking Chinese loans, saying the U.S.

Earlier Xi met with PNG's parliamentarians.

Trump told reporters Friday that the Chinese response to USA trade demands was largely complete but was missing four or five big issues. "We put tariffs on $250 billion (€218 billion) in Chinese goods, and we could more than double that number". China has slapped tariffs on $110 billion in imports from the U.S.in retaliation.

"The opportunity that Canada takes very seriously to work with you on the very specific challenges facing small island developing states, the importance of capital flows and investments in infrastructure, are things that we are happy to sit down with you about", Trudeau said at the start of the meeting.

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"We filled forms for passes - with the worldwide media - yesterday, around midday, thinking the issue of (airport) access would have been resolved by now".

We don't drown our partners in a sea of debt, we don't coerce, corrupt or compromise your independence.

"We believe that there exist no issues that countries can not resolve through consultation", said the Chinese leader, as long as negotiations take place in a spirit of "equality" and "mutual understanding". "So, I don't think there's a timetable".

He has also held his own meeting with PNG and the seven other Pacific leaders that have diplomatic relations with China: Fiji, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Federated States of Micronesia and Niue. He said intellectual property rights are important to protect innovation but they shouldn't widen the digital gap between countries.

There have been concerns that small countries that sign up for infrastructure projects will be left with debt burdens they can not service, something Pence highlighted.

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Pence announced the USA would be involved in ally Australia's plan to develop a naval base in Papua New Guinea, where the summit is being held.

Still, while USA allies like Australia welcome American firepower in the region, they also worry about its tactics on trade.

The President meantime has joined fellow Pacific Rim leaders at the opening of the APEC summit Saturday to tackle regional economic integration and digital development amid challenges in the global economy.

Xi said the world should "uphold the WTO-centred multilateral trading system, make economic globalisation more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all".

Trump's withdrawal from the TPP previous year and his push for bilateral trade deals are causing concern among allies, according to Ashley Townshend, director of the foreign policy and defense program at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney.

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China and the USA have been locked in an escalating trade war since Trump won election in 2016.