China chides US to portray Silk Road plan as 'trap'
China’s President Xi Jinping has rejected US criticism of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, saying it is not "a trap".
"It is not designed to serve any hidden geopolitical agenda," Xi emphasized on Saturday in an address before a meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
He was referring a massive infrastructure and development project spanning Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Africa.
"It is not targeted against anyone, and it does not exclude anyone. Nor is it a trap, as some people have labelled it," Xi said.
He further lashed out at "America First" trade protectionism and in an open criticism of Washington underlined that global trade rules should not be applied "with double standards or selfish agendas."
The project is also known as Silk Road Economic Belt.
Xi made the remarks at the APEC summit in Papua New Guinea, where US Vice President Mike Pence touched on the US-China trade dispute, saying that the Trump administration will not change course of tariffs until China “changes its ways.”
While Washington has imposed tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports, Beijing has slapped tariffs on $110 billion in imports from the US in retaliation, effectively halting its purchase of key US agricultural exports.