Published: Mon, November 19, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Chang reportedly discusses trade with Pence

Chang reportedly discusses trade with Pence

Upon landing at the summit, attended by regional leaders, Pence said his overflight was a type of "freedom of navigation" operation and that it was a message to China that the United States "will not be intimidated" by Beijing's warnings against USA operations in areas it claims in the maritime region.

At a news conference last week in the White House, Trump asked Pence, who was sitting near him: 'Mike, will you be my running mate?'

Xi did not mention the United States or Pence in his Sunday speech, but said differences between countries were normal, adding: "What is important is for us to stay committed to the shared goal of common development ... address differences through consultation".

'Damaging' "By withdrawing from multilateral trade agreements and pursuing unilateral tit-for-tat tariffs that are damaging not just for the U.S. 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.

Pence on Thursday told leaders of Southeast Asian nations on there was no place for "empire and aggression" in the Indo-Pacific region, a comment that could be interpreted as a reference to China's rise.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, when asked about US Navy drills, noted that China already occupies contested South China Sea islands and added: "Why do you have to create frictions ... that will prompt a response from China?"

Speaking to a regional summit, Pence directly criticised China's action in the South China Sea, according to a transcript of his remarks.

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

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

In addition, the Chinese leader called for "an open, inclusive and transparent approach" to various free-trade arrangements.

Mr Xi insisted that there was no "hidden agenda" to the Belt-and-Road scheme.

"And just like America, always put your country first".

Amid fears diplomatic and trade friction could spill over into the military sphere, Pence announced the United States would join forces with Australia in the development of a new naval base.

Pence is representing Trump at the summits after the president opted not to attend - becoming the first U.S. head of state to skip the marquee Asian conferences since 2013.

"Mike, will you be my running mate?" he asked, turning to the vice president and asking him to stand and raise his right hand, which he did.

He assured his followers that he and Pence remained exceptionally close, despite reports that Trump might replace his vice president on the 2020 ticket. "We've got a very strong relationship".

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