Sunday, 18 November
The annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit ended without agreement on a joint communique for the first time in its history on Sunday as the escalating rivalry between the United States and China dominated proceedings.
The impasse emerged a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping and the US Vice-President Mike Pence had blamed their rivals in the ongoing trade war in back-to-back speeches.
Sunday’s dramatic conclusion was foreshadowed by accusations that Chinese officials had attempted to strong-arm officials in Papua New Guinea, which was hosting the event, into issuing a statement that fitted what Beijing wanted. The Chinese vigorously denied the claims.
When asked about the impasse, Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said: “You know the two big giants in the room, so what can I say?”