United States President Donald Trump on Friday pushed for freedom and economic openness while delivering a speech at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam, CNN reported. He also warned that the United States would no longer “tolerate chronic trade abuses”.

Washington will “no longer tolerate the audacious theft of intellectual property, we will confront the destructive practices of forcing businesses to surrender their technologies to the state and forcing them into joint ventures in exchange for market access,” he said at the summit in Vietnam’s Danang. The United States has often criticised China for resorting to such practices.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit brings together 21 nations from the Pacific region. Chinese President Xi Jinping is also expected to speak at the summit.

“I am always going to put America first the same way I expect everyone in this room to put your countries first,” he said. He added that those who play by the rules will benefit. “Those who do not can be certain that the United States will no longer turn a blind eye to violations, cheating or economic aggression. Those days are over.”

Washington is ready to sign bilateral trade agreements with any Indo-Pacific nation that will abide by the principles of fair and reciprocal trade, said the president. “What we will no longer do is enter into large agreements that surrender our sovereignty and make meaningful enforcement practically impossible.” He added that “real and lasting” partnerships built on fair trade agreements will help the United States and the Indo-Pacific countries to grow.

North Korean crisis

Trump also spoke about the ongoing North Korea crisis. He told the international community to ensure that “every single step the North Korean regime takes towards nuclear weapons” is a step it takes towards greater danger. “The future of this region must not be held hostage by a dictator’s twisted fantasies of violent conquest and nuclear blackmail,” Trump added.

On Thursday, Trump, who is on a five-nation tour in Asia, had said that China could fix the North Korean crisis “quickly and easily” and had urging President Xi Jinping to “work very hard” on it.

North Korea has accelerated its weapons tests this year. In July, it twice launched a long-range missile that could potentially reach the US mainland. In September, it conducted its sixth and most powerful atomic explosion yet.