Mike Pence’s message to China: aggression has no place in Indo-Pacific

Mike Pence’s message to China: aggression has no place in Indo-Pacific

The US president and the North Korean leader held a historic summit in Singapore earlier this year, signing a vaguely worded deal on denuclearisation.

With scant sign of progress on negotiations since the June summit and recent high-level meetings cancelled, Trump said last week he's now in "no rush" but still wants to meet with Kim for a second time. He also appreciated the cooperation between the USA and India on counter-terrorism.

The US said the North axed the talks because they weren't ready, and Trump insisted he was in "no rush".

He held separate bilateral meetings with US Vice President Mike Pence and the premiers of Singapore, Australia and Thailand and discussed ways to further strengthen ties, including in areas of trade, defence and security. We have begun importing oil and gas from the United States worth about $4 billion this year.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, talked about easing sanctions on North Korea in their talks Wednesday on the sidelines of a regional summit in Singapore, Moon's office said.

Pence urged other countries at the meeting to keep up sanctions pressure on the North amid signs that Pyongyang's traditional trading partners, China and Russian Federation, have eased enforcement.

The North has rejected demands for what it calls "unilateral" disarmament, and has instead sought unspecified reciprocal United States measures in a gradual process.

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US Vice President Mike Pence told leaders of Southeast Asian nations on Thursday that there is no place for "empire and aggression" in the Indo-Pacific region, a comment that may be widely interpreted as a reference to China's rise.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Singapore this week for meetings for the ASEAN as well as the East Asian Summit, but perhaps what more people are looking forward to is his appearance at the Singapore Financial Technology (Fintech) Festival, which is now ongoing and will end on November 16th. PM Modi along with leaders of 17 other member countries of EAS posed for a photograph ahead of the summit.

The US has conducted a series of "freedom of navigation" exercises in the disputed South China Sea, triggering protests from Beijing over what it says is infringement of sovereignty.

But with the U.S. retreating behind protectionism under the Trump administration, China has stepped into the space it has vacated as the champion of global free trade.

"Like you, we seek an Indo-Pacific in which all nations, large and small, can prosper and thrive - secure in our sovereignty, confident in our values, and growing stronger together".

Chinese Premier Li, who was also in Singapore, beat the drum for the world's largest free trade deal - which excludes the United States - but sweeps in almost half of the globe's population including all of the 10-country ASEAN bloc.

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