China hopeful of trade war breakthrough

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Preble sails into sunset

The USS Spruance and USS Preble - both Arleigh Burke-class destroyers - participated in what the U.S. Navy calls a "freedom of navigation operation", according to a statement by Cmdr.

Xi will meet on February 15 with officials including US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who are in the capital for crunch talks towards a trade deal, the South China Morning Post reported.

Reacting to the US' move, China accused Washington of trespassing in its territorial waters. While the American side has expressed optimism, officials caution that there are still many large issues between the USA and China.

Hua, speaking on behalf of her government, demanded that the U.S.

The US Navy sent two guided-missile destroyers to challenge China in the South China Sea, and Beijing is outraged. The archipelago lies off the coasts of the Philippines, Malaysia, and southern Vietnam.

China's claims to the South China Sea were largely discredited by an worldwide arbitration tribunal three years ago.

The operation was carried out "to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by worldwide law", Cmdr.

"All operations are designed in accordance with global law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever worldwide law allows".

Monday's sail-by is the second USA freedom-of-navigation operation in the South China Sea this year.

"Spruance and Preble sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Spratly Islands in order to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by worldwide law", Doss said about the two ships, which are homeported in San Diego.

'China has indisputable sovereignty over islands in the South China Sea, including the Second Thomas Shoal, Mischief Reef, and the adjacent waters, ' Hua said.

In September, a Chinese warship came within just 45 yards of a US destroyer, raising concerns about the possibility of tensions boiling over into conflict.

The world's two largest economies are holding five days of talks in their latest attempt to unravel their acrimonious trade war.

The two countries are also at loggerheads over regional security, with the United States offering support to the island nation of Taiwan, which China also claims as its own.

Last year, China added surface-to-air missiles to the contested island, one of three that the Chinese military fortified in 2018. The United States has criticised China for militarising the islands by constructing long runways used by jet fighters and deploying anti-aircraft missiles. "We, of course, hope, and the people of the world want to see, a good result", Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman, said.



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