Unity call to fight protectionism, politics of force

Top News | 13 Sep 2018

Protectionism and unilateralism are rearing their heads in global politics and northeast Asian states should work together to counter the trend, says President Xi Jinping.

"There are deep and complex changes under way in the international situation, the politics of force, unilateral approaches and protectionism are rearing their head," Xi told the Eastern Economic Forum yesterday in Vladivostok, Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin echoed the warning, saying the barriers to trade is a particular challenge for Asia. "Basic principles of trade - competition and mutual economic benefit - are depreciated and unfortunately undermined," Putin said.

"They're becoming hostages of ideological and fleeting political situations, in that we see a serious challenge for all of the global economy, especially for the dynamically growing Asia-Pacific and its leadership."

At the World Economic Forum on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Hanoi, Vice Premier Hu Chunhua called for a rejection of protectionism and said unilateral trade policies by some countries posed a "most serious hazard" to the world economy.

"Some countries' protectionist and unilateral measures are gravely undermining the rules-based multilateral trading regime, posing a most serious hazard to the world economy," Hu.

"We must categorically reject protectionism and unilateralism, firmly support multilateralism, and uphold the world economy and multilateral trading regime."

In Vladivostok, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tokyo and Beijing are working toward an October visit by him to China.

Abe said he and Xi shared the view that Japan and China bore responsibility for world peace and prosperity, as well as the goal of achieving North Korea's denuclearization.

Japanese media have floated October 23 as the likely timing of Abe's visit.

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