US-China trade war will have no winners, says Xi
Port Moresby, Nov. 17 (IANS): Taking a veiled swipe at the US, Chinese President Xi Jinping said here on Saturday that countries which embrace protectionism are “doomed to failure” and a trade war will have no winners.
“History has shown that in confrontation, whether in the form of a cold war, a hot war or a trade war, will produce no winners,” Xi said in a speech at the Asia-Pacific
Cooperation Forum (APEC) CEO summit in the Papua New Guinea capital city.
US Vice-President Mike Pence later said he was prepared to “more than double” the tariffs imposed on Chinese goods.
China and the US, the world’s two largest economies, have been engaged in a tit-for-tat trade war this year. The White House said its tariffs were a response to Beijing’s “unfair” trade policies.
Speaking at the event, Xi said that the world needs common rules of global governance that do not respond to selfish agendas and added that only openness as well as cooperation can bring more opportunities and create more space for development.
“Disagreements should be resolved through dialogue and consultation, rather than trying to form ‘exclusive blocs’ or ‘impose criteria on other countries’.”
Xi further said that “attempts to erect barriers and cut close economic ties work against the laws of economics and the trends of history”.
“This is a short-sighted approach and it is doomed to failure,” he added, warning that those who close their doors “will only cut himself off from the rest of the world and lose his direction”.
But Pence — who spoke at the forum directly after Xi — said the tariffs were a response to the “imbalance” with China.
“The US, though, will not change course until China changes its ways,” he said.
The APEC forum was founded in 1989, accounts for 59 per cent of global GDP, forms a market of 2.85 billion consumers — around 40 per cent of the world population — and aims to establish a free trade zone among the 21 member economies by 2020.
This year’s summit hopes to speed up the implementation of a number of free-trade agreements, in the face of growing trade tensions between China and the US.
The trade dispute began when the administration of US President Donald Trump imposed tariffs worth $250 billion on imports from China and Beijing responded by imposing tariffs worth $110 billion on imports from Washington.
Pence’s remarks came a day after Trump told reporters he was confident a deal between China and the US “will be made”.
However, he said a number of key issues had not been included on a list for negotiation ahead of December’s G20 summit in Argentina, meaning it was “not acceptable” yet to the President.