Published: Tue, November 20, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Hayward: APEC Summit an Unexpected Disaster for China

Hayward: APEC Summit an Unexpected Disaster for China

"The entire world is worried" about tensions between China and the US, O'Neill told a mob of reporters that surrounded him after he confirmed there was no communique from leaders.

Asia-Pacific leaders failed to agree on a joint summit on Sunday for the first time in their history as deep divisions between the USA and China over trade and investment stymied cooperation.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison used his speech at APEC to strongly criticize the US-China trade war while inviting other nations to participate in a revamped Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Pence said in a blunt speech on Saturday there would be no end to us tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods until China changed its ways.

The US has imposed additional tariffs of US$250 billion (8.21 trillion baht) on Chinese goods this year and Beijing has retaliated with its own tariffs on American exports.

The trade war impacts Singapore in many areas, from the economy to politics and security, he said. "Those prevented there from being a full consensus on the communique".

The two-day summit was acrimonious and highlighted competition between China and the West for influence in the South Pacific.

Pence accused China of intellectual property theft, and of offering loans with "opaque" conditions.

The APEC meeting was a battlefield cratered by verbal artillery exchanges between the Chinese and US delegations, with Xi complaining about "unilateralism" and "protectionism" and Pence vowing to "hold nations accountable for their unfair economic practices".

Xi said the world was facing a choice between cooperation and confrontation as protectionism and unilateralism grew. A spillover of the bad blood on show into talks between presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump alongside the G20 summit in Argentina next month has to be avoided, for the sake of domestic economies and Asian and global economic well-being.

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"Frankly speaking, we are in a very early stage of those discussions and different countries have different ideas as to how to take that process forward", Mr Wang said.

After the meeting, Pence told reporters Washington and Beijing have differences ranging from trade practices to forced technology transfers.

While not referring directly to Chinese claims over various disputed waters in the region, Pence said the United States would work to help protect maritime rights.

Prior to Pence's comments, China's Xi Jinping lashed out at United States protectionism, labeling the USA approach as "short-sighted" and was "doomed to failure".

China's former chief trade negotiator has hit out at his country's handling of rising trade tensions with the USA, saying that Beijing is failing to think "deeply enough" about its approach to the conflict.

"This is one episode in the hegemonic struggle between the US and China - it will go on for a while", said Kunihiko Miyake, a former Japanese foreign ministry official who is now a visiting professor at Ritsumeikan University.

Davidson said the islands and the armaments on them give Beijing "the potential to exert national control over worldwide waters and airspace through which over $3 trillion in goods travel every year, along with commercial air traffic".

Sri Lanka formally handed over commercial activities in its main southern port of Hambantota to a Chinese company last December as part of a plan to convert $6 billion of loans that Sri Lanka owed China into equity.

Leaders pose for a family photo ahead of the retreat session during the APEC Summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on November 18, 2018. But the U.S. and allies are countering with efforts to finance infrastructure in Papua New Guinea and other island states.

Papua New Guinea is a largely undeveloped Pacific nation of more than 8 million mostly subsistence farmers with widespread poverty, corruption and lawlessness.

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