Beijing • China’s President Xi Jinping said a trade war will produce “no winners” and called for nations to uphold a rules-based order led by the World Trade Organisation.
Implementing tariffs and cutting economic ties “is a short-sighted approach and it is doomed to failure”, Xi said at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit on Saturday in Papua New Guinea.
Protectionism and unilateralism are overshadowing global growth, and a policy of erecting economic barriers is doomed to fail, Xi said.
The growing US-China trade dispute is looming large at the APEC Summit last weekend in Papua New Guinea, where US VP Mike Pence on Saturday said the Trump administration won’t change course of tariffs until China “changes its ways”.
The US has so far imposed tariffs on US$250 billion (RM1.05 trillion) in Chinese imports.
In retaliation, China has slapped tariffs on US$110 billion in imports from the US and effectively shut off its purchase of key American agricultural exports including soybeans.
“Disagreements should be resolved through consultation,” Xi told the forum on a cruise ship anchored off Port Moresby.
“Attempts to form exclusive blocs or impose one’s will on others should be rejected.
“History has shown that confrontation, whether in the form of a cold war, a hot war or a trade war, will produce no winners.”
Pence began his speech by saying the US commitment to the Indo-Pacific had never been stronger.
He criticised infrastructure funding that saddled developing nations with debt and took a swipe
at China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
“The US offers a better option. We don’t drown our partners in a sea of debt,” he said.
“We don’t offer a constricting belt or a one-way road.” — Bloomberg