BEIJING (AP) — With China and the United States opening the door to a meeting next month between Presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump, hopes are rising for a potential easing of tensions in the trade war between the world's two largest economies. Worries about the increased tariffs the two sides have imposed on each other's goods contributed to a dizzying bout of volatility in financial markets this week. The higher tariffs raise costs for companies in both countries, and economists say that if they remain in place indefinitely, they could depress economic growth. A Xi-Trump meeting, if it happens, would take place during a summit of leaders of the Group of 20 biggest global economies in Argentina in late November.
BEIJING (AP) — China's trade surplus with the United States widened to a record $34.1 billion in September as exports to the American market rose by 13 percent over a year earlier despite a worsening tariff war. Exports to the United States rose to $46.7 billion, down from August's 13.4 percent growth, customs data showed Friday. Imports of American goods increased 9 percent to $12.6 billion, down from 11.1 percent. Chinese exports to the United States have at least temporarily defied forecasts they would weaken after being hit by punitive tariffs of up to 25 percent in a fight over American complaints about Beijing's technology policy.
NUSA DUA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo added to a chorus of criticism Friday over trade friction between the U.S. and China, telling financial leaders gathered in Bali, Indonesia, that victory in a trade war would be pointless in a "sinking world." Widodo's comments at the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank came as share markets rebounded after The Wall Street Journal and Washington Post reported that U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping may meet at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, late next month. Much attention at the finance meetings in this tropical resort has focused on threats to growth from the uncertainty and disruptions associated with trade friction.
PORT DICKSON, Malaysia (AP) — Voting opened Saturday in a by-election that is expected to see charismatic Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim win a parliamentary seat and return to active politics as he prepare for his eventual takeover from Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Anwar was designated the successor to Mahathir, his former foe turned ally, after they set aside a bitter political feud and joined hands to win a stunning victory in May's general elections. Anwar couldn't participate in the polls due to a 2015 conviction for sodomy — a charge he alleged was politically motivated — but he was freed after receiving a royal pardon days after the polls.
BEIJING (AP) — Activists are protesting the Hong Kong government's disqualification of a legislative candidate who advocated self-determination for the Chinese territory. The government announced Friday that Lau Siu-lai was barred from running in a Nov. 25 election. Lau was stripped off a seat in the Hong Kong legislature in 2016. Election authorities said Lau's previous statements in support of self-determination for Hong Kong were illegal. Hong Kong Watch, a human rights group, criticized the decision as a violation of the "right to stand in free and fair elections." Hong Kong authorities are stepping up efforts to quash pro-independence voices ahead of the election.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday visited an Indonesian city shattered by an earthquake and tsunami to personally assess the impact of the disasters. Guterres is attending the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank on the island of Bali. He paid a visit to the hard-hit city of Palu on Sulawesi island, where Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla welcomed him at the partly damaged airport. They were briefed by the country's top disaster official, Willem Rampangilei, and Central Sulawesi Gov. Longki Djanggola on the damage caused by the Sept. 28 quake, which triggered a tsunami that swept away houses, crumpled cars and beached numerous ships.
TOKYO (AP) — The new governor of Okinawa said Friday he wants Americans to know that the U.S. and Japanese governments are forcing a relocation of a U.S. Marine base that residents want removed from the southern Japanese island. Denny Tamaki was elected last month after campaigning for moving the disputed Marine base entirely off the island and reducing the American military presence. Tamaki, who took office on Oct. 4, held talks in Tokyo with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday and urged the central government to do more to reduce the burden on Okinawa of hosting U.S. bases and have it shared by the rest of Japan.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Human rights groups and the United States said U.N. Human Rights Council elections Friday gave abusive countries a seat at a table where they should be called out, as nations including the Philippines and Eritrea won an uncontested election. Eighteen countries, ranging from India to the Bahamas to Denmark, were chosen in a U.N. General Assembly vote. With no competition, each candidate got well over the 97 needed votes, including the Philippines, widely condemned internationally for a deadly drug crackdown, and Eritrea, which has faced criticism from a commission set up by the council itself. "Elevating states with records of gross human rights violations and abuses is a tremendous setback," said Amnesty International USA's advocacy director, Daniel Balson.
BEIJING (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to travel to China later this month for his first formal visit in seven years, in a further sign of improving relations between the regional rivals. Bilateral ties nosedived in 2012 after Japan nationalized a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea claimed by Beijing, setting off violent protests in China. Despite close economic ties, many Chinese also resent Japan over its invasion of their country last century. Beijing routinely warms of resurgent Japanese militarism, despite little evidence of that appearing. Abe's Oct. 25-27 visit follows a trip to Japan in May by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the ruling Communist Party's second-ranking official.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan official says attacks by the Taliban in the country's north have killed eight people — four soldiers and four civilians. Military spokesman Hanif Rezaie says the troops died in Kunduz province when the Taliban attacked a military outpost in the district of Archi on Friday morning. He says six were wounded in the assault. Rezaie says the civilians were killed on Thursday, when a car bomb targeting an election campaign headquarters in Faryab province exploded prematurely. He says several Taliban fighters died in both incidents. Afghanistan is holding parliamentary elections on Oct. 20. The campaign has already been marred by violence.