PORT MORESBY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA — For the first time in its 20-year history, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit ended in disarray Sunday when the 21 member countries could not reach consensus on a joint statement because of objections by one member — China. When the summit failed, to the disgust of the other diplomats, Chinese officials broke out in applause.
But that was only the final incident in a week during which China’s official delegation staged a series of aggressive, bullying, paranoid and weird stunts to try to exert dominance and pressure the host nation and everyone else into succumbing to its demands.
“This is becoming a bit of a routine in China’s official relations: tantrum diplomacy,” a senior U.S. official involved in the negotiations told me. “Them walking around like they own the place and trying to get what they want through bullying.”
Even before the summit started, and continuing right up to its end, Chinese officials used every opportunity to strong-arm or undermine the host nation government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the other summit members. Chinese tactics included being thuggish with the international media, busting into government buildings uninvited, papering the capital city of Port Moresby with pro-Beijing propaganda and possibly even using cyberattacks to stifle the message of Vice President Pence, the U.S. delegation leader….
China’s first outwardly intimidating move was to ban all international media from Xi’s meeting with the leaders of eight Pacific nations. ….
Things got worse from there. On Saturday, Xi and Pence were the final two official speakers at the public part of the summit. They gave their speeches on a cruise ship docked off the coast, while most journalists were stationed on shore in the International Media Center. But five minutes into Pence’s remarks, the Internet in the media center crashed for most of the reporters there, meaning they couldn’t hear or report on it in real time.
Just as Pence was finishing his speech, the media center’s Internet mysteriously came back on. U.S. officials told me — although they couldn’t be sure China was responsible — they were investigating what happened.
“Was there any trouble with the Internet for the speaker before Pence?” another senior U.S. official asked me. (No.) “And who was that speaker again?” (Xi.)
Source: Inside China’s ‘tantrum diplomacy’ at APEC – The Washington Post