China defends Asia-Pacific trade after Trump threat

President Xi Jinping vows to "push to build an Asia-Pacific free-trade zone and an open world economy"

Afp November 23, 2016
China's President Xi Jinping. PHOTO: AFP

SANTIAGO: China's President Xi Jinping vowed to strengthen world trade in the face of US President-elect Donald Trump's threat to pull out of a key trans-Pacific accord.

Speaking on a visit to Chile on Tuesday, he vowed to "push to build an Asia-Pacific free-trade zone and an open world economy."

Trump on Monday vowed to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact on his first day in the White House.

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On the last stop of a tour to strengthen trade ties in Latin America, Xi said he and Chile's President Michelle Bachelet agreed to join in a "full strategic relationship."

They expanded their countries' existing free trade agreement and signed 12 cooperation agreements.

"To drive the long-term development of bilateral ties, we have decided to enhance our bilateral relations to a strategic relationship and open a new page in ties between Chine and Chile," Xi told a news conference.

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Chile is the world's biggest copper producer and the second-largest producer of salmon.

China is its biggest trade partner, receiving a quarter of all Chilean exports last year.

Xi also signed 18 new agreements with Peru on Monday.


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