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US-China trade war escalates, APEC summit ends without joint communique

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 November 2018, 07:29 GMT]
“The United States will not change course until China changes its ways,” said US Vice President Mike Pence, who was continuing the hardline rhetoric against China at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit held in the Papua New Guinea (PNG) capital of Port Moresby on Saturday. Chinese President Xi Jinping in his address asked: “Which direction should we choose? Cooperation or confrontation? Openness or closing one's door? Win-win progress or a zero-sum game?” The meeting ended without the parties agreeing on a joint statement.

China was opposing the way the US wanted to phrase a strong language against unfair trade practices. If that was to be allowed, then China wanted a phrase against protectionism and unilateralism. There was also a dispute on the language about reforming the World Trade Organisation.

The Chinese President was talking about a planet being “home to more than 200 countries and regions, 2,500-plus ethnic groups and over 7 billion people.”

The US Vice President was talking about not drowning “partners in a sea of debt.”

As far as the genocide-affected Eezham Tamils are concerned, China deploying finance to gain a strategic foothold in the island has been State-centric and not people-centric as its president was claiming to be.

Similarly, the USA under Obama and Trump administrations as well as their recent predecessors, was responsible for the genocide and the protracted structural genocide as it tilted the diplomatic and political balance to the favour of the SL State during the times of war and peace.

Both the actors, seeking geopolitical leverage in the Indian Ocean, have been Colombo-centric and upholding the unitary state of genocidal Sri Lanka.

Xi Jinping, in his APEC address, was floating the phrase ‘rules-based global governance’ in response to the US rhetoric of ‘rules bases international order’.

“Rules should be formulated by the international community, not in a might-is-right way. Once the rules are made, they should not be followed or bent as one sees fit, and they should not be applied with double standards for selfish agendas,” the Chinese president said.

US Vice President Mike Pence said: “We don’t drown our partners in a sea of debt. We don’t coerce or compromise your independence. We do not offer a constricting belt or a one-way road.”

“The US will continue to uphold the freedom of the seas and the skies which are so essential to our prosperity. We will continue to fly and sail wherever international law allows, and our national interests demand. Harassment will only strengthen our resolve. We will not change course,” Pence said.

“Do not accept foreign debt that could compromise your sovereignty. Protect your interest. Preserve your independence. And just like America, always put your country first,” he said.



Some excerpts from Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech follow:

“Resorting to old practices such as protectionism and unilateralism will not resolve problems. On the contrary, they can only add uncertainties to the global economy.”

“As the Bogor Goals are set for 2020, we should set our sights on post-2020 cooperation and endeavor to build a free trade area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). We should say no to protectionism and unilateralism, uphold the WTO-centered multilateral trading system, make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all, and expand converging interests and share opportunities through opening-up and cooperation.”

“Every country is entitled to an equal right to development; and no one has the right or the power to stop people in developing countries from pursuing a better life.”

Xi Jinping
“We live on the same planet. It is home to more than 200 countries and regions, 2,500-plus ethnic groups and over 7 billion people. Trying to erase their differences will not work. Such differences are not a hindrance to exchanges, still less a cause for confrontation. Diversity and interaction between different civilizations, social systems and paths can provide strong impetus for human progress. We should reject arrogance and prejudice, be respectful of and inclusive toward others, and embrace the diversity of our world. We should seek common ground while putting aside differences, draw upon each other's strengths and pursue co-existence in harmony and win-win cooperation.”

“With the painful lessons of two world wars in mind, countries established the global governance framework underpinned by the United Nations and composed of the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO and other institutions. This framework, while not an ideal one, represents an important step in human history. Indeed, it has been pivotal to global peace and development in the past decades. We must strengthen rules-based global governance if we are to achieve stability and development. Rules should be formulated by the international community, not in a might-is-right way. Once the rules are made, they should not be followed or bent as one sees fit, and they should not be applied with double standards for selfish agendas.”

“Attempts to form exclusive blocs or impose one's will on others should be rejected. History has shown that confrontation, whether in the form of a cold war, a hot war or a trade war, will produce no winners. We believe that there exist no issues that countries cannot resolve through consultation as long as they handle these issues in a spirit of equality, mutual understanding and accommodation.”


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