World

China blames ‘excuses’ for APEC discord as US ties sour further

Reuters Beijing | Updated on November 20, 2018 Published on November 20, 2018
As world leaders land in Papua New Guinea for a Pacific Rim summit, the welcome mat is especially big for China’s president.

FILE PHOTO

A major Asia-Pacific summit’s failure to agree on a communique resulted from certain countries “excusing” protectionism, a top Chinese diplomat said, in a veiled criticism of Washington that further sours the tone of China-US ties ahead of a G20 meet.

After months of talk over a damaging trade war, the disputed South China Sea and the US support for Chinese-claimed Taiwan, the two nations’ Presidents took a step back from the edge with an ice-breaking telephone call earlier this month.

While both US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed optimism about resolving their trade war ahead of a planned meeting at the G20 meeting in Argentina at the end of next week, relations have faltered again.

The weekend’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Port Moresby was one of open disagreement, topped by disputes between the US and China over trade, security and which would be the better investment partner for the region.

The gathered leaders failed to agree to a joint communique, against the backdrop of the bitter trade war.

The inability to reach a communique was “by no means accidental,” the Chinese government’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi said on the foreign ministry’s website late on Monday.

“It is mainly that individual economies insisted on imposing their own texts on other parties, excusing protectionism and unilateralism, and not accepting reasonable revisions from the Chinese and other parties,” the ministry cited Wang as saying, in an oblique reference to the United States.

“This practice caused dissatisfaction among many economies, including China, and it is not in line with the consensus principle adhered to by the APEC.”

Wang added, “It is in the joint interests of all parties and cannot be ignored.”

On Monday, China’s foreign ministry said the United States, whose delegation at the summit was led by Vice President Mike Pence, attended APEC in a “blaze of anger”, and that China had not gone to “get into a boxing ring”.

Pence said the United States would not back down from the trade dispute, and might even double tariffs, unless Beijing bowed to demands. On Tuesday, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman added to the criticism of the failure to sign the communique.

Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing, “An individual member” of APEC would not heed other members and insisted on trying to add content “harming other countries’ basic interests”.

China took a dig on Monday at Pence’s pledge of development financing of $60 billion for what the Trump administration calls the Indo-Pacific region, a promise widely seen as Washington’s answer to Xi’s massive Belt and Road infrastructure plan.

“We note that some voices worry whether the United States can make good on its promises and whether they’re just paying lip service,” Geng said.

Published on November 20, 2018

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.