Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke of the need for global cooperation and worldwide trade, telling the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit there was no issue that countries couldn't work out "through consultation".
China's President Xi Jinping arrives for the Apec CEO Summit 2018 in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018.
In another swipe at the United States, which has threatened to quit the World Trade Organisation, Xi said rules-based global governance needed to be strengthened "not in a might-is-right way - once the rules are made they should not be followed or abandoned as one sees fits, and they should not applied with double standards for selfish agendas".
In his own address, Xi defended the policy, saying there was no "hidden political agenda...nor is it a trap as some people have labelled it".
"The United States, though, will not change course until China changes its ways", Pence stated.
The controversy surrounding the power nap of President Duterte has reached the shores of Papua New Guinea as Pacific Rim leaders gathered for the annual summit here this weekend.
"We're in a very strong position, " Pence said when asked whether there was a deadline to end the trade war.
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"We do not a offer constricting belt or a one-way road", Pence told a summit of APEC chief executives, a precursor to the official leaders' meeting.
Xi said the world should "uphold the WTO-centred multilateral trading system, make economic globalisation more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all".
Pence is representing Trump at the summits after the president opted not to attend - becoming the first USA head of state to skip the marquee Asian conferences since 2013.
Pence said the U.S. would join Australia in establishing a military base in Papua New Guinea. Cooperation or confrontation? Openness or closing doors. The US has complained about China being classified as a developing country and argues it gives an unfair advantage.
Speaking at the same forum, Australia's prime minister also issued a passionate defence of free trade and lashed out at protectionist trends battering the global economy. "The test for us now is to stand up for the economic values we believe in and show how they work".
China's territorial claims to most of the South China Sea that borders Southeast Asian nations were also a target in Pence's speech.
"We will continue to fly and sail wherever worldwide law allows and our national interest demands".