Vice President Mike Pence took a harsh line on China at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Papua New Guinea on Saturday, pledging Washington "will not change course" on trade policy "until China changes its ways."
"We have great respect for [Chinese President Xi Jinping] and China," Pence said, "but as we all know, China has taken advantage of the United States for many, many years, and those days are over." He accused Beijing of unfair trade and lending practices and suggested additional tariffs may be on the way.
President Xi also spoke, arguing, "Unilateralism and protectionism will not solve problems but add uncertainty to the world economy." He called for further cooperation on trade and infrastructure development, defending his signature Belt-and-Road Initiative against Pence's critique. "History has shown that confrontation, whether in the form of a cold war, a hot war, or a trade war, produces no winners," Xi said.