The geopolitical situation – particularly between China and the United States – in these past few weeks has caught and held my attention like nothing else.
I'd call it understandable.
I'm currently in Singapore for Asia's annual oil and gas conference, and I'm getting an earful about the politics between my country and theirs.
Of course, the world is aware of the current state of the trade war between the U.S. and China. With tariffs coming from both ends, neither country is backing down.
I've discussed this in detail in many previous Oil & Energy Investor columns.
But things are getting hotter in this particular geopolitical realm.
Now, while the conference that I'm attending covers three days of intense energy-specific discussions, there are other conferences and summits going on in Asia to discuss other matters of global importance.
In particular, one that was just this past week was the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC.
And boy, did it ruffle some feathers...
A Volatile Situation
APEC's primary aim is to promote free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region, and the annual conference is attended by the heads of government of all APEC members.
Currently, there are 21 members of APEC, including the United States, China, Japan, Australia, Mexico, Papua New Guinea (where this year's conference was held), and 15 other countries around the world.
However, despite this worldwide turnout and the expectation of worldwide trade discussions, the inevitable happened.
The U.S.-China trade spat over territorial disputes in the Pacific took the throne in dominance and prominence.
Following a confirmation that the United States and Australia will be sharing a naval base in Papua New Guinea, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence – representing President Donald Trump – said the following:
"We have great respect for President Xi and respect for China. But in the president's words, China's taken advantage of the United States for many, many years. And those days are over."
As you can imagine, these words didn't go over very well with the Chinese delegation attending the conference, particularly after affirming China's opposition to President Trump's tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods.
This was only part of a back and forth between the United States and China at this summit, as both countries traded jabs.
Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said, in what seems like quite the understatement, "the entire world is worried."
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About the Author
Dr. Kent Moors is an internationally recognized expert in oil and natural gas policy, risk assessment, and emerging market economic development. He serves as an advisor to many U.S. governors and foreign governments. Kent details his latest global travels in his free Oil & Energy Investor e-letter. He makes specific investment recommendations in his newsletter, the Energy Advantage. For more active investors, he issues shorter-term trades in his Energy Inner Circle.