World growth overshadowed by protectionism: China's President Xi Jinping

File photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 17, 2018, 09.05 AM (IST)

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned on Saturday that the shadow of protectionism and unilateralism was hanging over global growth, joining other Asia-Pacific leaders in urging free trade.

China and the United States have been locked in an escalating trade war since President Donald Trump won the election in 2016. Trump has skipped the annual meeting of the 21-nation grouping, but US Vice President Mike Pence will be speaking later in the day.

Fault lines were quick to emerge over the future of free trade as leaders gathered for an Asia-Pacific summit on Saturday, with some calling for radical change while others argued for a return to the status quo on globalization.

Meanwhile, President Xi made a push to expand China's influence in the Pacific on Friday, holding a forum with leaders of eight small island countries in Papua New Guinea.

But Chinese officials barred most media, including reporters from the Pacific, from the forum at which Xi met leaders from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Micronesia, Niue, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, as well as Papua New Guinea, in its capital Port Moresby ahead of an APEC summit this weekend.

(With inputs from Reuters)

Story highlights

China and the United States have been locked in an escalating trade war since President Donald Trump won the election in 2016.