Apec could not reconcile U.S. and China

Daniel Fowler
November 20, 2018

For the moment, that day still looks a ways off. Papua New Guinea, an economy smaller than all 50 USA states that hosted the APEC summit, signed deals in excess of $1 billion with both China and a US -led bloc.

"It's a little concerning that it appears that China didn't really have any intention in the end of reaching consensus", the official said.

In a speech at the APEC summit, Xi lashed out at "America First" trade protectionism, while US Vice President Mike Pence warned smaller countries not to be seduced by China's massive Belt and Road infrastructure programme.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe failed in his efforts to bridge the deep U.S.

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde told Apec leaders yesterday that a trade conflict could reduce world gross domestic product (GDP) by some 0.8 per cent. Mr Lee said the amount is derived from the direct impact of tariffs, as well as the implications on investment and on market confidence, among other things.

Authors Gabriel Gelbermayr and Benedikt Zoller-Rydzek say, although the tariffs introduce a distortion to U.S. consumption decisions, the economic costs are shifted to Chinese exporting firms with the U.S. government able to extract a net welfare gain of United States dollars 18.4 billion.

He went on to warn the U.S. is not in a hurry to end the trade war and would "not change course until China changes its ways".

Trump's economic nationalism dismisses multilateral approaches and imposes trade tariffs to create divisions.

The world, according to Xi's speech, is facing a choice between cooperation and confrontation as protectionism and unilateralism grows.

Xi also pitched the Belt and Road initiative to eight Pacific leaders in a meeting on Friday. Projects they support are often unsustainable and of poor quality.

Trump's withdrawal from the TPP previous 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.

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Wallace objected again, saying "But, sir leaders in authoritarian countries like Russia, China, Venezuela, now repress the media using your words".

"We have taken decisive action to address our imbalance with China", Pence declared.

China's Foreign Ministry lashed out at Pence for his remarks.

"Not a single developing country has been mired in debt difficulties because of its cooperation with China".

"China is in dire need of soybean imports, so why did we pick out soybeans from the beginning?"

China was not the only member to baulk at that demand.

CNN, which ran several articles over the weekend declaring APEC a surprising disappointment for China, found APEC members unhappy with China's use of "sharp power" - Beijing's unique tactic of using economic muscle to force foreign companies to comply with the Communist Party's agenda, a brand of compulsion halfway between the "hard power" of military might and the "soft power" of diplomacy. China has responded with import tariffs on U.S. goods.

A Leaders' Declaration has been issued after every annual APEC leaders' meeting since the first in 1993, the group's website shows.

Duterte was a notable absentee from a gala dinner that saw leaders in red and yellow shiny shirts treated to traditional tribal Papua New Guinea entertainment.

Issues of trade - particularly reform of the World Trade Organisation, along with tariffs, intellectual property and artificial intelligence - are understood to have been the sticking points.

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.

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