Xi Mounts Fresh Defense of Globalization in Contrast to Trump

Xi Mounts Fresh Defense of Globalization in Contrast to Trump

Without identifying China, a series of allegations the USA has lodged against the country, in a speech to CEOs on the sidelines of the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam.

The speeches represent contrasting pitches for leadership in a region suspicious of China's intentions and unsure about America's staying power. Regional partners anxious the pullout would embolden China.

In an address to a business forum after the talks, Trump said the USA was committed to denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, but China had to work harder on the issue.

Trump's speech cataloged the ills of globalization, saying too many countries had flouted the rules for years with impunity, harming American workers and USA companies.

"And we'd like to know, if the two heads of state are going to meet, is there something we can point to that's useful to meet". Openness brings progress while self-seclusion leaves one behind.

Trump didn't single out China by name, but his words were clearly aimed at Beijing, which continues to maintain steep barriers against inroads by foreign companies.

He blamed previous USA administrations for failing to address these issues - causing "enormous trade deficits" on the US side.

A senior White House official said China is doing "much more than it has ever done in the past" but it could try harder to curb trade at the border with North Korea.

But the Vietnamese have their own bones to pick with America, angry over Trump's withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multi-sided trade deal that was meant to push back on China and its often one-sided trade practices.


"But I don't blame China", he said.

Xi also pushed China's Belt and Road Initiative as the basis for "interconnected development for common prosperity". We expect that markets will be open to an equal degree on both sides and that private industry, and not government planners, will direct investment. He says the opposite has happened for "too long".

Mr Trump also said on Friday that the whole world was being lifted by America's economic renewal, and that a "new optimism" has swept across the USA since his election.

Shortly after that speech, North Korean officials told CNN, "We don't care about what that mad dog may utter", referring to Trump. "I think we have to give it a couple of months, a few months, and then see what adjustments we might need to make". But he will be seeking reassurances from Trump that the US will not abandon its ally, as well as possible new steps by the U.S.to counter Chinese influence. It was unclear if the pledges extend beyond a U.S.

"It is not a very well thought-out strategy". He reiterated his preference for country-to-country trade deals, saying "I am always going to put America first".

Trump's comments came during his second day in China and after lengthy meetings with Xi. Following the visit, China announced a plan to open its financial sector by removing ownership limits on its banks and asset-management companies.

"There is no disagreement on North Korea", he said.

Xi called on the region to make "continuous progress" toward what would be known as the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific and to quickly complete negotiations on a 16-nation Asia trade pact known as the RCEP.

After two days of high-stakes meetings in China, where President Donald Trump flattered and smiled alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping, the president will move on to his penultimate stop of his 13-day Asia tour in a country pushing back against Chinese influence - Vietnam.

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