Published: Tue, November 20, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Police called after Chinese bully host at Pacific summit

Police called after Chinese bully host at Pacific summit

"China was angered that the reference to WTO blamed a country for unfair trade practices". "Give me one example", he said. "We put tariffs on $250bn in Chinese goods, and we could more than double that number".

PNG Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato said his country did not need to pick sides.

"The language we heard from Pence is quite concerning because it shows we're moving toward a zero-sum game geopolitics in the Asia-Pacific", said Jonathan Pryke, a researcher specializing in the Pacific at the Lowy Institute, a Sydney-based research group.

After world leaders jetted out of Papua New Guinea following the acrimonious end to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, Pacific nation leaders gathered at Australia's High Commission for kangaroo sausages and cold beer.

During the summit, the United States said it would join Australia in developing a naval base in Papua New Guinea (PNG), in an apparent move to curb China's growing influence.

Although the not a claimant country in the South China Sea, it conducts freedom-of-navigation operations in global waters around the disputed area and calls out China's alleged militarization in the region.

During his trip to China last month - the first official visit to the country by a Japanese leader in almost seven years - he agreed with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to create a new framework to jointly move ahead with infrastructure projects in third countries.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is first out of the line to distance himself from other world leaders as the Apec summit broke up on Sunday.

'Damaging' "By withdrawing from multilateral trade agreements and pursuing unilateral tit-for-tat tariffs that are damaging not just for the United States 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.

Meanwhile, new cooperative elements have been added to a post-2020 vision for the bloc, within which there is now greater consensus to support the multilateral trading system, said Zhang, adding that it represents a positive input for strengthening global trade and economic cooperation amid rising protectionism and unilateralism.

He accused China of luring developing nations into a debt trap through the loans it offers for infrastructure. He warned against taking Chinese loans, saying the U.S. "doesn't drown our partners in a sea of debt" nor offer "a constricting belt or a one-way road".

China was not the only member to baulk at that demand.

CNN, which ran several articles over the weekend declaring APEC a surprising disappointment for China, found APEC members unhappy with China's use of "sharp power" - Beijing's unique tactic of using economic muscle to force foreign companies to comply with the Communist Party's agenda, a brand of compulsion halfway between the "hard power" of military might and the "soft power" of diplomacy.

Reuters added that China scored an "own goal" against itself by banning all but a few handpicked, mostly Chinese media outlets from covering Xi's meeting with Pacific Island leaders ahead of the APEC summit.

China's spending in Papua New Guinea is glaring, with roads, buildings and bus stops bearing the Chinese Government's insignia.

Jonathan Pryke of Australia's Lowy Institute said the heavy-handed move sent a "terrible signal" that China is "trying to buy influence but not build influence".

Duterte was a notable absentee from a gala dinner that saw leaders in red and yellow shiny shirts treated to traditional tribal Papua New Guinea entertainment.

As he left the capital of Port Moresby, he listed USA differences with China, saying: "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". Angry reporters turned away from a PNG conference facility that was essentially annexed by China might be inclined to agree with his assessment.

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