Cops called on Chinese envoys as APEC summit tensions boil over

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In a similar statement in October, the Chinese foreign ministry had rejected the claim that China was using "debt diplomacy" to expand its global influence and said the cooperation with the developing countries had effectively promoted their economic and social development and improvement of people's livelihood.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there were differences between several nations, including China and the U.S. Draft versions of the communique seen by The Associated Press showed the U.S wanted strong language against unfair trade practices that it accuses of China.

Staggering debt The APEC summit of leaders from 21 countries across the region has developed into a tussle for influence between an increasingly assertive China and a more withdrawn US. Those comments helped U.S. stocks erase losses, as investors bet on whether Trump will impose even more tariffs on Chinese goods than the $250 billion already in place.

Asked about the incident, Chinese Foreign Ministry official Zhang Xiaolong told reporters: "It's not true. So, I don't think there's a timetable".

It's understood China and the U.S. could not agree on language about reforms to the World Trade Organisation, and China opposed levelling the playing field against state-owned enterprises. (AAP) China's President Xi Jinping. Consisting of the US, Japan, India and Australia, the group met in Singapore in the past week to discuss ways to cooperate. "History has shown that confrontation, whether in the form of a cold war, a hot war or a trade war, will produce no winners".

Trump - and Russian President Vladimir Putin - both made a decision to skip the gathering, leaving the spotlight on Xi who arrived two days early to open a Chinese-funded school and road in Papua New Guinea's dirt-poor capital, Port Moresby.

In his speech Saturday, Pence announced the United States would be building a military base in Papua New Guinea, in cooperation with Australia, further entrenching Washington's military presence in Asia and the Pacific.

1 2017 shows Chinese People's Liberation Army personnel attending the opening ceremony of China's new military base in Djibouti
AFP 2018 STRUS Congressional Report Accuses China of Using Belt & Road Initiative as Excuse for Bases Abroad

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

Australia was walking a fine line between its largest trading partner and its long-time security ally at the summit, but Prime Minister Scott Morrison played down suggestions relations are fractured.

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

'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 feisty barbs on a gleaming white cruise ship moored in Port Moresby set the scene for a potentially fiery meeting between Xi and U.S. President Donald Trump at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina at the end of this month.

"The commitment of the United States of America to this region of the world has never been stronger", Pence said at a signing ceremony. Pence said he encouraged Xi to come to the "G20 understanding that their markets have to open up, that President Trump believes that a deal is possible".

Pence told reporters on Sunday: "I spoke to President Xi twice during the course of this conference".

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