Port Moresby : Protectionist actions are short-sighted and doomed to fail, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Saturday ahead of an APEC summit at which US-China trade tensions are likely to take centre stage.
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.
“Attempts to erect barriers and cut close economic ties work against the laws of economics and the trends of history. This is a short-sighted approach and it is doomed to failure,” Xi told business leaders on the sidelines of the summit.
“We should say no to protectionism and unilateralism,” Xi said, in a veiled swipe at the “America First” policies of Donald Trump’s administration.
APEC members the US and China have become embroiled in a trade war that experts warn could be catastrophic for the global economy, with the world's top two powers going head to head. Xi said the world should “uphold the WTO-centred multilateral trading system, make economic globalisation more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all”.
With concerns growing that rivalry between the US and China could escalate, Xi warned against going down that road.
“History has shown that confrontation — whether in the form of a cold war, hot war or trade war — will produce no winners,” he said. “We believe that there exist no issues that countries cannot resolve through consultation,” said the Chinese leader, as long as negotiations take place in a spirit of “equality” and “mutual understanding.”
Speaking at the same forum, Australia's prime minister also issued a passionate defence of free trade and lashed out at protectionist trends battering the global economy.
“Tit-for-tat protectionism and threats of trade wars are in no one's interest economically and undermine the authority of the global and regional trade rules that benefit us all,” said Scott Morrison.
US President Donald Trump has decided to skip the APEC summit, which some critics say has left the stage free for China to bolster its influence in the region.
In contrast to Trump, Xi arrived two days before the summit, opening a new road and a school in Port Moresby and holding talks with Pacific Island leaders. Papua New Guinea rolled out the red carpet for Xi.
- Chinese President Xi Jinping said there would be no winners from a trade war or a new cold war amid increasing rivalry between the world's top two economies.
- With concerns growing that rivalry between the US and China could escalate, Xi warned against going down that road
- Old records and documents to be available at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai.