Pence vows tariffs to remain until 'China changes its ways'

Kenny Grant
November 17, 2018

Mr Pence's decision to stay in Papua New Guinea now puts him in the same boat as China's President Xi Jinping, whose delegation has locked down the Stanley Hotel, where Chinese lanterns abound and a pagoda has been constructed in his honour.

Unveiled in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to bolster a sprawling network of land and sea links with Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

However, he also said the United States sought a "better relationship" with China and progress was being made in trade talks ahead of a mooted meeting between Trump and Xi at the G20 in late November.

He also warned that the U.S. could double the tariffs already imposed on Chinese goods.

The two countries have been engaged in a tit-for-tat trade war this year.

Trump and Xi are due to meet at a G20 meeting in Argentina late this month, raising some hope that trade tension could ease.

Trump told reporters Friday that the Chinese response to USA trade demands was largely complete but was missing four or five big issues.

The spat prompted China, which has repeatedly accused the United States of protectionism, to file a complaint about U.S. trade practices with the WTO.

"The test for us now, for all of us is to stand up for the economic values we believe in. So, I don't think there's a timetable". He said intellectual property rights are important to protect innovation but they shouldn't widen the digital gap between countries.

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As well as the $US12 million road President Xi also opened unveiled the Butuka Academy in the capital's Moresby South District.

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. It is a small country, small economy, but with huge potential. China has been intensely wooing Papua New Guinea and other Pacific island nations with aid and loans for infrastructure.

Australia, which has long-standing military ties with the United States, has already announced plans to redevelop PNG's Lombrum Naval Base on Manus island.

Still, while US allies like Australia welcome American firepower in the region, they also worry about its tactics on trade.

Global leaders must promote free trade, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Saturday.

The shadow of protectionism and unilaterism is hanging over global growth, Xi said, joining his global counterparts in urging free trade.

Trump is pressing China to reduce its huge bilateral trade surplus and make sweeping changes to its policies on trade, technology transfers and high-tech industrial subsidies.

Xi, who spoke before Pence, anticipated numerous USA criticisms in his speech. -China dispute "will hurt the region economically".

"We should say no to protectionism and unilateralism", Xi said, in a veiled swipe at the "America First" policies of Donald Trump's administration.

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