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China, US trade barbs in speeches at Apec Summit

17 November 2018

This occurred during the arrival of the US Vice-President, Mike Pence, at around 11am today.

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. Those comments helped US stocks erase losses, as investors bet on whether Trump will impose even more tariffs on Chinese goods than the $250 billion already in place.

Xi also tackled U.S. attacks on China's communist system, saying there were more than 200 countries on the planet and "trying to erase their differences will not work, such differences are not a hindrance to exchanges, still less a cause for confrontation".

The U.S., a democracy, is a better partner than authoritarian China, he said. But Pence stressed Saturday that the US won't back off.

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Xi also made a veiled reference to a new grouping known as "the Quad" that aims to counter China's influence in the Asia-Pacific.

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.

"History has shown that confrontation - whether in the form of a cold war, hot war or trade war - will produce no winners", he said.

Baron Waqa, president of Nauru, told Trudeau that tsunamis, earthquakes and cyclones have created enormous losses for the economies of smaller island states, while a rising sea level shrinks their territory and increases water salinity that effects their food security.

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Australia, which has long-standing military ties with the United States, has already announced plans to redevelop PNG's Lombrum Naval Base on Manus island.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Saturday called for abandoning protectionism and the policy of unilateral actions and preserve multilateral trade system for global development.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned that economic protectionism is overshadowing global growth and urged countries to pursue free trade policies.

In another swipe at the USA, which has threatened to quit the World Trade Organisation, Xi said rules-based global governance needed to be strengthened "not in a might-is-right way - once the rules are made they should not be followed or abandoned as one sees fits, and they should not applied with double standards for selfish agendas". He said the USA was working to improve relations with Beijing, and pointed to Trump's upcoming meeting with Xi as an opportunity for progress.

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China, US trade barbs in speeches at Apec Summit