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

18 November 2018

In a keynote speech to the business leaders, Xi urged the worldwide community to hold on to the right direction of world economy and work out an efficient global governance system.

Vice President Mike Pence said on Friday that the South China Sea did not belong to any one nation, and the United States would continue to sail and fly wherever global law allowed, comments sure to rile China, which claims the strategic sea route.

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

Pence said there would be no letup in President Donald Trump's policy of combating China's mercantilist trade policy and intellectual property theft that has erupted into a tit-for-tat tariff war between the two world powers this year. "We put tariffs on $250 billion (€218 billion) in Chinese goods, and we could more than double that number".

Carpio said that like all other coastal states, the Philippines under UNCLOS had exclusive sovereign rights to explore and exploit the natural resources in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the West Philippine Sea, which is part of the South China Sea.

Xi's comments follow months of a trade dispute between the U.S. and China, with each imposing tariffs on the other's goods.

Australia has been critical of Beijing's "soft diplomacy" and rising influence in the region, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned this month that confrontation must not define China's relationship with the US.

Saturday's summit of CEOs is the precursor to the official leaders' meeting, which will take place on Sunday.

Speaking just before Pence, Chinese President Xi Jinping called trade protectionism a short-sighted policy doomed to fail.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the U.S. involvement in the redevelopment of a naval base at Manus Island has been at Papua New Guinea's request.

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Pence said the USA "commitment to the Indo-Pacific region has never been stronger".

"Do not accept debt that could compromise your sovereignty".

Controversially, Mr Pence said the United States saw ASEAN as an "irreplaceable strategic partner".

Also revealed was the new US$400 million Indo-Pacific Transparency Initiative to "empower citizens to combat corruption and strengthen sovereignty". "The United States deals openly and fairly".

Despite the nations maintaining significant ties with the United States, they are also closely connected to Beijing. Trudeau's office said the two expressed a consensus about the need for reforms to the World Trade Organization, a group Trump dislikes. "Mike Pence used his speech to take a lot of digs at China, particularly the way that China goes around making loans..."

Thomas added that the fringe events at the summit provided more insight into the wider geopolitical aims of the participants, with China looking to boost support for its position on Taiwan.

Pacific island leaders have been in high demand at APEC in the last few days as countries vie for influence in the region. And too often they come with strings attached and lead to staggering debt. "So why do you have to create frictions, strong military activity that will prompt a response from China?" the President then said.

China's President Xi Jinping and Trump will meet in Argentina at the end of November to discuss ongoing trade tensions.

China has responded with levies targeting $110billion of U.S. goods.

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