Protectionism 'doomed to failure', Xi Jinping says in swipe at US

17 November, 2018, 11:47 | Author: Regina Silva
  • A women's shelter in Goroka Papua New Guinea

Implementing tariffs and cutting economic ties "is a short-sighted approach and it is doomed to failure", Xi said at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO summit on Saturday in Papua New Guinea.

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

Speaking moments later, Pence told delegates the USA offers countries in the region "a better option" for economic and diplomatic relations than Beijing's heavy-handed approach.

He also warned that the United States could double the tariffs already imposed on Chinese goods.

Trump is set to meet Xi at the G20 summit in Argentina next month.

Trump told reporters Friday that the Chinese response to US trade demands was largely complete but was missing four or five big issues. "We put tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods, and we could more than double that number". In retaliation, China has slapped tariffs on $110 billion in imports from the United States and effectively shut off its purchase of key American agricultural exports including soybeans.

China has denied that USA companies are forced to transfer technology and sees US demands on rolling back its industrial policies as an attempt to contain China's economic rise.

During his speech, Pence also announced a few new initiatives aimed at showing USA commitment to the region.

"We filled forms for passes - with the worldwide media - yesterday, around midday, thinking the issue of (airport) access would have been resolved by now. So, I don't think there's a timetable". "The Intellectual Property Rights regime is designed to protect and encourage innovation not to create or widen the scientific and technological divide", Xi said. Consisting of the U.S., Japan, India and Australia, the group met in Singapore for the third time this week to discuss ways to cooperate. "Attempts to form exclusive blocs or impose one's will on others should be rejected".

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.

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Xi reminded the audience that Papua New Guinea, a Pacific nation that has been the recipient of large amounts of aid and loans from Beijing, played an important role during World War II.

"Only with this win-win concept among Apec members can we chart a common and an inclusive future in the Age of Disruption", said Dr Mahathir.

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

China's efforts to win friends in the resource-rich Pacific have been watched warily by the traditionally influential powers in the region - Australia and the US.

In another swipe at the United States, 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".

Trump's withdrawal from the TPP past 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.

"We should say no to protectionism and unilateralism", Xi said, in a veiled swipe at the "America First" policies of Donald Trump's administration.

Pence is representing Trump at the summits after the president opted not to attend - becoming the first USA head of state to skip the marquee Asian conferences since 2013. -China dispute "will hurt the region economically".

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

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