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Pence-Xi Showdown at APEC Shows U.S.-China Divide Only Widening

  • Xi says moves to implement tariffs were ‘doomed to failure’
  • Pence tells Asia that U.S. offers ‘better option’ than China
Mike Pence on Nov. 17.
Mike Pence on Nov. 17.Photographer: Fazry Ismail/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
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U.S. Vice President Mike Pence traded sharp barbs with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in back-to-back speeches at a regional summit, showing that neither country appears to be giving ground in an escalating trade war.

Xi received applause Saturday when he told the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Papua New Guinea that implementing tariffs and breaking up supply chains was “short-sighted” and “doomed to failure.” He called for a stronger World Trade Organization and defended his signature Belt-and-Road Initiative, saying it’s “not a trap as some people have labeled it.”