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Russia, China Warn Against Protectionism As U.S. Threatens More Tariffs

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (right), with Chinese President Xi Jinping (center) and Czech President Milos Zeman on November 5 in Shanghai.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev joined with Chinese President Xi Jinping in warning against growing protectionism and urging adherence to global trade rules.

Their comments early on November 17 at an economic summit in Papua New Guinea were countered by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who threatened China with a doubling of U.S. tariffs if it does not concede to Washington's trade demands.

"We have taken decisive action to address our imbalance with China," Pence said. "We put tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods and we could more than double that number."

"We hope for better, but the United States will not change course until China changes its ways," Pence vowed.

Xi earlier decried the U.S. approach.

"History has shown that confrontation -- whether in form of cold war, hot war, or trade war -- will produce no winners," Xi said. "One who chooses to close his door will only cut himself off from the rest of the world and lose his direction."

China and Russia have previously teamed up to denounce the United States on trade, touting themselves as defenders of free markets despite their struggles to win entry into the World Trade Organization, the global arbiter of trade set up by Washington and its allies.

Based on reporting by AFP, dpa, and Reuters