Beijing, Nov 19 (PTI) China on Monday angrily dismissed as “rumours” the reports of its officials allegedly barging into the office the foreign minister of Papua New Guinea on the side-lines of the APEC summit and questioned the ability of the US to deliver USD 60 billion projects to rival its BRI. Also Read - Pet Cat Brings Home Two-Headed Snake, Leaves Florida Family in Shock
According to media reports from Papua New Guinea (PNG), which hosted the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, four Chinese officials barged into the office of PNG Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato on Sunday after being denied a meeting, following which police was stationed outside his office. Also Read - US: 7.5 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Off Alaska Coast Triggering Tsunami Warning
The senior Chinese officials wanted to meet the minister to discuss the wording of the APEC final communique, US television network ABC reported. Also Read - Amid India-China Standoff, Army Buys High-Altitude Warfare Gears From US on 'Urgent Basis': Report
When they were repeatedly denied a meeting, they pushed their way into Pato’s office, calling out to the Minister for two minutes of his time, the report said.
This followed US and China differences over references over the reforms relating to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in the APEC joint statement which was finally not issued.
“Do you think this is possible? The Chinese diplomats can burst into the office of the PNG foreign minister. Do you think it is possible?” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a media briefing on Monday while answering questions about the drama in PNG.
“The so-called bursting into the office of PNG Foreign Minister is rumour spread by the people with ulterior motives. China has clarified this,” he said.
Any attempt to disturb the ties between PNG and China are doomed to fail, Geng said.
He also took a dig at the remarks of US Vice President Mike Pence that US plans to spend USD 60 billion in infrastructure projects as a rival bid against the China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), saying some people are concerned whether the US can deliver on its promise.
In his speech, Pence said US President Donald Trump had promised to give the nations of the Indo-Pacific regions a better option to support infrastructure projects by “reforming our development finance institutions”.
“And today the United States has more than doubled our financing capacity to USD 60 billion,” he said at the APEC summit on Friday.
“And this year, we have provided more foreign military financing to the Indo-Pacific than the previous three years combined,” he said.
Reacting Pence’s remarks, Geng said “no matter with what motive the US made such a promise… That is a good thing. We also noted that some people are concerned whether the US can deliver on its promise.” “We hope that that concern will not become reality and the people and the international community will certainly follow closely how the US will deliver on its promise,” he said.
Pence in his combative address to the APEC summit on Friday said China’s BRI is saddling developing countries with loans they can’t afford.
“Know that the US offers a better option. We don’t drown our partners in a sea of debt, we don’t coerce, compromise your independence. We do not offer constricting belt or a one-way road,” Pence said, which drew angry reaction from China saying that no country ended up in debt because of the BRI.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.