Xi, who will attend the 2018 APEC summit in the PNG capital Port Moresby, will then continue on to Brunei and the Philippines, both important claimants in the hotly contested South China Sea.
Facing an increasingly hostile US government, pushing back on issues of security and trade, the Chinese government has been attempting to build bridges with regional powers.
“There’s maybe a sense that China’s feeling a bit on the defensive at the moment,” Euan Graham, senior fellow at Sydney’s Lowy Institute, told CNN.
Xi’s visit follows a strong push back against Chinese moves in the South China Sea by Washington, which has…
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