Asian nations slam U.S.-China trade war

Asian countries have voiced concern about the potentially devastating impact of a U.S.-China trade war, with Ministers calling for the acceleration of talks for a gigantic Beijing-backed free-trade deal that excludes the United States.
Fear that a simmering trade spat between the world’s top two economies could spiral into a full-blown trade war — with painful consequences for China’s neighbours — was among topics dominating discussion at a regional summit in Singapore on Saturday.
The prospect of a trade war is a “real threat” to Asian countries, Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said on Saturday on the sidelines of the summit.
Other top diplomats at the forum, hosted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, spoke out against protectionism, warning that it places the region’s development in jeopardy. Some Ministers also called for the early conclusion of talks for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a 16-nation free trade pact.
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