Pence-Xi showdown at APEC shows US-China divide only widening

Pence-Xi showdown at APEC shows US-China divide only widening

Pence was in Papua New Guinea on Saturday for a major trade summit with Asian countries.

"I conveyed to President Xi our significant concerns over land reclamation, construction and the militarization of disputed areas, which makes it harder for countries in the region to resolve disagreements peacefully", Obama said back then.

A USA official told reporters that Pence was "currently having a "pull-aside" with the Taiwanese head of delegation to APEC Morris Chang".

The deep divisions between the two sides meant the summit ended with agreement on a communique, with reports suggesting that they had clashed over America's demand that calls for a "level playing field" at the World Trade Organisation be included in the document.

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said "the two big giants in the room" had been unable to agree.

Xi also made a veiled reference to a new grouping known as "the Quad" that aims to counter China's influence in the Asia-Pacific. "We are committed to work with all concerned parties in the substantive negotiations and early conclusion of an effective code of conduct".

In his closing comments, Mr O'Neill said Apec would try to ensure "free and open trade" in the region by 2020.

"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.

"Do not accept foreign debt that could compromise your sovereignty", he said.

More news: 'We were more than soulmates': Diddy's 'nightmare' after ex's death

"We don't drown our partners in a sea of debt", he said.

"The United States, though, will not change course until China changes its ways".

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

"Several Republicans after that tape was released called for Pence to replace Trump at the top of the GOP ticket, and the Atlantic reported in January 2018 that Pence "[contemplated] a coup" to take the top of the ticket in the final stretch of the 2016 election.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who is not attending the APEC meeting, is due to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Argentina.

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?"

Washington has also amplified its complaints about Chinese trade practices, accusing it of intellectual property theft, unfair competition and forced technology transfers.

'We put tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods, and we could more than double that number'.

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