PNG security forces storm parliament over Apec pay dispute

Posted November 21, 2018

A security official stands guard outside a perimeter fence for a secured area ahead of the APEC Economic Leaders' Week Summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

"The US was determined to include a strong message on trade and the WTO in the communique, and China was determined to get rid of that language", the source said.

Asia-Pacific leaders have failed to bridge divisions over trade at a summit dominated by a war of words between the United States and China.

'Damaging' "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. The US is slated to "more than double" current tariffs on China, lifting the targeted tariff rate to 25% across the board.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison used his speech at APEC to strongly criticize the US-China trade war while inviting other nations to participate in a revamped Trans-Pacific Partnership. "Those prevented there from being a full consensus on the communique".

During a blunt speech, US Vice President Mike Pence warned there would be no end to US tariffs on $250billion (£195billion) of Chinese goods until China changed its ways.

Apparently China objected to a reference in the text to "unfair trade practices".

The world, according to Xi, is facing a choice between cooperation and confrontation as protectionism and unilateralism grows.

"We don't offer constricting belts or a one-way road", said Pence. "They begin with trade practices, with tariffs and quotas, forced technology transfers, the theft of intellectual property. It goes beyond that to freedom of navigation in the seas, concerns about human rights", Pence told reporters.

The US is interested in a better relationship "but there has to be change" from China's side, Pence said he told Xi, who responded that dialogue is important.

"We're not in any way suggesting that China is bringing in development funding or building projects which undermine our systems".

"Attempts to form exclusive blocs or impose one's will on others should be rejected", Xi said.

The Prime Minister has played down deep divisions between the United States and China, after a weekend of rancour between the superpowers at the APEC Summit in Port Moresby.

In Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea's capital, the impact of China's aid and loans is highly visible.

In Port Moresby, the impact of China's aid and loans is highly visible but the US and allies are countering with efforts to finance infrastructure in Papua New Guinea and other island states. Agence France-Presse news agency said that Chinese officials attempted to "barge" into the office of the country's foreign minister to influence the document.

New Zealand has joined Australia, the United States, Japan, and Papua New Guinea in a $1.7 billion project to bring electricity to almost three quarters of the country. A separate statement from his office said other countries are welcome to join the electrification initiative provided they support the USA vision of a free and open Pacific.

The US also announced it would partner with Australia and Papua New Guinea to upgrade the Lombrum Naval Base on Manus Island, which could hand Washington another crucial strategic outpost in the Pacific.