Published: Sat, November 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Xi Jinping: US-China trade war will produce no winners

Xi Jinping: US-China trade war will produce no winners

Protectionism and unilateralism were overshadowing global growth, and a policy of erecting economic barriers was doomed to fail, Xi said.

Mr Xi was speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit, where US-Chinese tensions are likely to be centre stage.

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

Effective July 2018, access to full reports will only be available with a subscription. "We don't drown our partners in a sea of debt, we don't coerce, compromise your independence", Pence said.

China has been showering billions of dollars in infrastructure loans on island nations in the Pacific, a region that is vital to global shipping and provides a stepping stone to project military and economic power.

The APEC summit in Papua New Guinea of leaders from 21 countries across the region has developed into a tussle for influence between an increasingly assertive China and a more withdrawn US.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence traded sharp barbs with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in back-to-back speeches at a regional summit, showing that neither country appears to be giving ground in an escalating trade war.

"By withdrawing from multilateral trade agreements and pursuing unilateral tit-for-tat tariffs that are damaging not just for the US 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. "And just like America, always put your country first", he said, adding that the United States was a better investment partner. "It is not an exclusive club that is closed to non-members nor is it a trap as some people have labeled it", he said.

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"We hope for better, but the United States will not change course until China changes its ways".

"[Pence and Xi] represent the two biggest economies that are part of the APEC group", he said. President Xi was all about [US President] Donald Trump's tariffs.

"It is the bilateral meetings, the sideline meetings that perhaps tell us more about what's going on here", Thomas said.

That anti-protectionism sentiment was also echoed by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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. "It's that geopolitical context that's on show here, as much as it's about the official talks".

In the absence of Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the summit has been relatively low key and the focus has turned to the venue Port Moresby.

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

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