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Apec leaders at odds over globalisation and free trade

Apec leaders at odds over globalisation and free trade

Vice President Mike Pence announced the partnership on Saturday at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, where escalating trade tensions between the United States and China loomed large.

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

He said the US would not change its course until China changes its ways.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Asean Summit, Mr. Duterte on Thursday said China was "already in possession" of the disputed waters. The US is working with Japan to invest $10 billion in the region's energy infrastructure, as well as partnering with Japan and Australia "to support a vast array of private development projects across the Indo-Pacific", he said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping's Red Flag Hongqi sedan travels with motorcade in Port Moresby, 16 November 2018.

Apec was formed almost 30 years ago to lower barriers to trade, and this year's summit comes as the USA and China have imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars of each other's goods, with both threatening to step up action if necessary.

Mr Xi and Mr Pence yesterday also sparred over China's worldwide trillion-dollar infrastructure drive - the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) - that has prompted concerns over what some view as China's use of economic inducements to gain influence in recipient countries.

In combative back-to-back speeches at a business forum held on a hulking cruise ship moored in Port Moresby, Xi Jinping and US Vice President Mike Pence pulled few punches.

"We've taken decisive action to address our trade imbalance with China".

Pence took direct aim at Xi's flagship Belt and Road programme, which China has been promoting to Pacific nations at APEC, saying countries should not accept debt that compromised their sovereignty.




Xi lashed out at "America First" trade protectionism and in a thinly veiled swipe at Washington stressed that global trade rules should not be applied "with double standards or selfish agendas".

The drawing of lines illustrates how the South Pacific is becoming another battleground in the strategic tussle between China and the US - but one complicated by the trade-reliant region's aversion to Trump's protectionism.

"History has shown that confrontation, whether in the form of a Cold War, hot war, or trade war will produce no winners", said Mr. Xi.

But on Saturday Xi appeared to give no concessions to USA complaints that China's technology advances had been built on intellectual property theft.

"Mankind has once again reached a crossroads", he said.

"If I think I'm right, I will do it", Dr Mahathir told Malaysian media at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) 2018 Summit here in the Papua New Guinea capital.

With concerns growing that rivalry between the U.S. and China could escalate, Xi warned against going down that road.

"But the key thing here is the PNG Government has invited us to participate at Manus Island in the Lombrum initiative and they've invited the United States to do the same thing, so we're pleased to be working together".

Xi pledged that China will continue to significantly expand market access, strengthen IPR protection, and do more to increase imports, adding that China views all companies, both Chinese and foreign, as equals.

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