A MEETING of world leaders in Papua New Guinea has failed to agree on a final communique, highlighting divisions between the US and China.

The 21 nations at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation two-day summit struggled to bridge differences on the role of the World Trade Organisation.

The meeting’s chair, Papua New Guinea’s prime minister Peter O’Neill, made a statement.

He said “the entire world is worried” about tensions between China and the US after confirming there was no communique.

Draft versions of the communique showed the US wanted strong language against unfair trade practices that it accuses China of.

The summit underlined rivalries between China and the West for influence in the South Pacific.

Pence had criticised China for intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers and unfair trading practices.

China's leader Xi Jinping said the world faces a choice between co-operation and confrontation as protectionism and unilateralism grows. He added the rules of institutions set up after the Second World War, such as the World Trade Organisation, should not be used for selfish agendas.

Pence told reporters he had two “candid” conversations with Xi.

The US is interested in improving relations, “but there has to be change” from China’s side, Pence said he told Xi, who responded that dialogue is important.