China and the United States exchanged barbs on November 17 at an APEC summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
In his speech, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence vowed that Washington “will not change course until China changes its way.”
The United States has imposed tariffs of $250 billion on Chinese goods and China has retaliated.
Pence accused Beijing of intellectual property theft, huge subsidies for state businesses, and “tremendous” barriers to foreign companies entering the Chinese market.
Pence criticized China's global infrastructure drive, known as the Belt And Road Initiative, calling many of the projects low quality that also saddle developing countries with loans they can't afford.
The United States, a democracy, is a better partner than authoritarian China, he said.
Xi, who spoke before Pence, said countries are facing a choice of cooperation or confrontation as protectionism and unilateralism spreads.
"The rules made should not be followed or bent as one sees fit and they should not be applied with double standards for selfish agendas," Xi said.