The Latest: Pence, Xi chat on APEC summit sidelines

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (AP) — The Latest on the summit of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in Papua New Guinea (all times local):

10:40 a.m.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Chinese President Xi Jinping were seen chatting for a minute and a half on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting Saturday evening, hours after making speeches that strongly attacked each country’s trade and other policies.

Leaders of 21 Pacific Rim nations at the meeting were gathering for a group photo in the APEC summit’s signature colourful shirts when the encounter happened.

Video shows Pence talking animatedly with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when Xi arrived in the room. Xi greeted other leaders and stopped to talk with Pence, an interpreter showing up as the conversation began.

Neither side has commented on what was discussed.

In his speech, Pence said there would be no letup in President Donald Trump’s policy of combating China’s mercantilist trade policy and intellectual property theft that has erupted into a tit-for-tat tariff war between the two world powers this year.


2:40 p.m.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has met with the head of Taiwan’s delegation to an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting.

The U.S. doesn’t have diplomatic relations with Taiwan, which China regards as a renegade province, but is obliged by an act of Congress to help with the island’s military defense.

A U.S. official told the media pool traveling with Pence that the vice-president had a “pull-aside” meeting with Morris Chang, the octogenarian founder of a Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturing giant. The official didn’t give other details.

Taiwan is a member of the 21 nation APEC, which is having its annual leaders meeting in Papua New Guinea’s capital Port Moresby.


12 p.m.

China’s president says the world faces a choice of cooperation or confrontation in a speech to a summit of leaders that is divided by tensions stemming from increased U.S. protectionism.

President Xi Jinping expressed support for global free trading system that has underpinned his country’s rise to world’s second-biggest economy.

Xi says, “The future of mankind hinges on the choices we make.”

Leaders of Pacific Rim countries that make up 60 percent of the world economy are meeting in the capital of Papua New Guinea for an annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.