APEC fails to reach consensus as US-China divide deepens

APEC fails to reach consensus as US-China divide deepens

APEC fails to reach consensus as US-China divide deepens

Xi was speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Papua New Guinea a day after the two had delivered keynote speeches that set out their competing visions.

Australia was caught in the middle between its largest trading partner China and long-time ally the USA, but Prime Minister Scott Morrison was making the Pacific nations a priority.

"We're trying to focus on the development and the advancement of the Pacific", he told reporters on Sunday.

China wouldn't agree to that language, believing it amounted to a "singling out" of Chinese trade practices, the USA official said.

On Sunday, the U.S., New Zealand, Japan and Australia said they'd work with Papua New Guinea's government to bring electricity to 70 percent of its people by 2030.

"APEC has got no charter over World Trade Organization, that is a fact".

Sources say phrases like "unfair trade practices" may have caused Beijing's negative reaction as it would appear the blame for the tensions lies at China's feet.

On Monday, Mr Morrison will visit Bomana cemetery, which contains 3824 Commonwealth burials from World War II, including 699 unidentified graves.

It was later abandoned - the first time in the 30-year history of the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) that no communiqué has been issued.

Pato also confirmed to Reuters that Chinese officials had see him on Saturday over the communique, adding they were refused because they had not made "necessary arrangements" for a meeting, but denied media reports they had barged into his office.

PRIME MINISTER LEE HSIEN LOONG, on the impact of a prolonged trade war between the USA and China on global growth.

APEC fails to reach consensus as US-China divide deepens

Before the US Vice-President's arrival at the Summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke against protectionism, which is a type of policy that limits unfair competition from foreign industries, and unilateralism - an approach where one state ignores the interests of other states. The "opaque" loans came with strings attached and build up "staggering debt", Pence charged, mocking the initiative as a "constricting belt" and a "one-way road".

Accidentally or on objective, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha appeared to photobomb US Vice-President Mike Pence when photographers called on leaders to wave at their cameras.

He urged Asian nations to work with the US, which, he said, would not saddle them with debt - an issue some countries are facing as a result of their partnerships with Beijing.

"The commitment of the United States of America to this region of the world has never been stronger", said Pence at a signing ceremony.

Mr Pence told reporters that during the weekend he had two "candid" conversations with Mr Xi, who is expected to meet President Donald Trump at a Group of 20 summit at the end of this month in Argentina.

But Mr Xi and Mr Pence, who both wore shiny, red shirts provided by the Pacific island did hold talks on Saturday night at the leaders' gala dinner.

Since that time the United States has initiated a trade war with China in an effort to close the US$375 billion trade deficit between the two sides.

While keeping in step with other countries on the Indo-Pacific initiative, Abe has also worked since earlier this year to forge economic ties with Beijing against the backdrop of an unfolding trade war between the world's two largest economies.

The multilateral trade order that APEC was established in 1989 to protect is crumbling as Chinese assertiveness in the Pacific and US tariffs strain relations in the region and divide loyalties.

"Business leaders do not want to speak out, but behind the scenes here, they are talking over dinner saying "how has this happened"?" said Denis O'Brien, the billionaire chairman of Digicel.

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