China, USA spar on trade tariffs, chequebook diplomacy

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China and the US crossed swords Saturday ahead of an APEC summit, duelling over protectionism, trade tariffs and “chequebook diplomacy” as they laid out sharply contrasting visions for the Pacific Rim region.

In combative back-to-back speeches at a business forum held on a hulking cruise ship moored in Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, Xi Jinping and US Vice-President Mike Pence pulled few punches.

The feisty exchanges laid the ground for what could be a fiery encounter between the Chinese leader and President Donald Trump at next month’s G20 in Argentina.

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Xi lashed out at “America First” trade protectionism and in a thinly veiled swipe at Washington stressed that global trade rules should not be applied “with double standards or selfish agendas”.

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