Xi Jinping: US-China trade war will produce no winners

A group of young boys come out of a family shack in the Gehrehu settlement of Port Moresby Papua New Guinea

Vice President Mike Pence said Saturday on a visit to Papua New Guinea. which is hosting the APEC regional summit. that the U.S. would join forces in the project.

"We have taken decisive action to address our imbalance with China", he said.

Pence also said that The US wanted a "better relationship" with China, if it respects its neighbours' sovereignty, embraced "free, fair and reciprocal trade" and its human rights record.

Apec, a 21-member economic grouping of which Malaysia is part of, comprises both rich and poor nations like the United States, Russia, China, Mexico, and Papua New Guinea.

Reporting from the Papua New Guinean capital Port Moresby, Al Jazeera's Andrew Thomas said the Saturday speeches set a competitive rather than a cooperative tone for the summit.

Chinese President Xi Jinping's Red Flag Hongqi sedan travels with motorcade in Port Moresby, 16 November 2018.

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

"Attempts to erect barriers and cut close economic ties work against the laws of economics and the trends of history", he told business leaders on the sidelines of the summit.

Rejecting criticism that China was engaged in "debt diplomacy", Xi said, "Let me make this clear, the Belt and Road Initiative is an open platform for cooperation". Later, Pence told reporters he was "very hopeful" the USA and China could reach a deal, but "things have to change" for that to happen.

Trump has skipped the annual meeting of the 21-nation grouping, but the U.S. vice-president, Mike Pence, is attending.

"We filled forms for passes - with the worldwide media - yesterday, around midday, thinking the issue of (airport) access would have been resolved by now".

"We should say no to protectionism and unilateralism", he said.

In a major speech, Xi also stressed that there would be no winners from a trade war or a new cold war amid increasing rivalry between the world's top two economies.

"Meanwhile, across town, Taiwan hosted its own event for the smaller number of countries that recognise it".

Pence said on Saturday the USA would partner with Papua New Guinea and Australia in redeveloping the Lombrum Naval Base on Manus Island.

Mr Pence appeared to throw down the gauntlet to China on trade and security in the Pacific region.

The United States will join forces with Australia in the development of a new naval base to be built in Papua New Guinea, US Vice President Mike Pence has announced.

"China has taken advantage of the United States for many, many years and those days are over", he told the meeting of world leaders.

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