Duterte: China ‘in possession’ of disputed sea; drills to just raise tension

Posted November 18, 2018

The addition of the USA shows the Trump administration's comments "about a new, competitive policy toward China in the Indo-Pacific isn't just rhetoric - it's the real thing", Philipp Ivanov, head of the Asia Society's Australian branch, said in an interview in Papua New Guinea.

However, Mr Xi appeared to warn against any further escalation of tensions between the two countries.

"We will work with these two nations to protect sovereignty and maritime rights in the Pacific islands".

"History has shown that confrontation - whether in the form of a cold war, a hot war or a trade war - will produce no winners", he said.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who is not attending the APEC meeting, is due to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Argentina. "When you partner with us, we partner with you and we all prosper".

The shadow of protectionism and unilaterism is hanging over global growth, Xi said, joining his global counterparts in pushing for free trade. Why did they make this kind of request that puts pressure on China?

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Carpio said that like all other coastal states, the Philippines under UNCLOS had exclusive sovereign rights to explore and exploit the natural resources in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the West Philippine Sea, which is part of the South China Sea.

"We've put tariffs on US$250 billion in Chinese goods and that number could more than double", he said.

"It brings the U.S. a lot closer to the South China Sea but I think it's also a significant pushback for China's strategic ambitions in the Pacific region", said Jonathan Pryke from the Lowy Institute. "This is a short-sighted approach and it is doomed to failure", Xi told business leaders on the sidelines of the summit.

PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill and Mr Pence had a bilateral meeting on the night of the speeches.

"China has taken advantage of the United States for many years".

Mr Pence said the USA was also forging "new and renewed security partnerships", including recent trilateral naval exercises with India and Japan. We don't coerce or compromise your independence.

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"The South China Sea doesn't belong to any one nation, and you can be sure: The United States will continue to sail and fly wherever worldwide law allows and our national interests demand", Pence said.

In his speech, Xi said the world needed to "draw upon each other's strengths and pursue coexistence", rather than criticize other countries' domestic choices.

He also took aim at China's territorial ambitions in the Pacific and, particularly, Mr. Xi's Belt and Road Initiative to expand land and sea links between Asia, Africa and Europe with billions of dollars in infrastructure investment.

But Pence made it clear that the United States would not back down.

The vice president harshly criticized China's global infrastructure drive, known as the "Belt and Road Initiative", calling numerous projects low quality that also saddle developing countries with loans they can't afford.

Pence's remarks come after President Trump rejected a list of trade concessions sent by Beijing on Friday, because major issues like intellectual property theft weren't addressed.

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"We are witnessing a rising tide of trade protectionism along with financial volatility in some emerging economies", Morrison said.