World: China upbeat on U.S. trade talks, but South China Sea tensions weigh - PressFrom - US
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WorldChina upbeat on U.S. trade talks, but South China Sea tensions weigh

11:25  11 february  2019
11:25  11 february  2019 Source:   reuters.com

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The South China Sea disputes involve both island and maritime claims among several sovereign states within the region, namely Brunei, the People' s Republic of China (PRC), Republic of China (Taiwan)

South China Sea Tensions . A Vietnamese fishing boat goes past the USS Chung-Hoon at a The region is home to a wealth of natural resources, fisheries, trade routes, and military bases, all Selling U . S . China Policy. The South China Sea comprises a stretch of roughly 1.4 million square miles in

China upbeat on U.S. trade talks, but South China Sea tensions weigh© Reuters/Jason Lee FILE PHOTO: Hua Chunying, spokeswoman of China's Foreign Ministry, speaks at a regular news conference in Beijing

BEIJING (Reuters) - China struck an upbeat note on Monday as trade talks resumed with the United States, but also expressed anger at a U.S. Navy mission through the disputed South China Sea, casting a shadow over the prospect for improved Beijing-Washington ties.

The United States is expected to keep pressing China on longstanding demands that it reform how it treats American companies' intellectual property in order to seal a trade deal that could prevent tariffs from rising on Chinese imports.

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The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Karimata and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan of around 3,500,000 square kilometres (1,400,000 sq mi).

China vowed to take all necessary measures to protect its sovereignty over the South China Sea and said it had the right to set up an air defense zone, after rejecting an international tribunal' s The case, covering a region that is home to one of the world’ s busiest trade routes, has been seen as a test of

The latest talks will begin with working level discussions from Monday-Wednesday before high-level discussions at the end of the week. Negotiations concluded in Washington last month without a deal and with the top U.S. negotiator declaring that a lot more work needed to be done.

Lower-level officials will kick off the meetings on Monday, led on the American side by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish.

Higher principal-level talks will take place Thursday and Friday with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters that Beijing hopes to see good results from the talks.

The two sides are trying to hammer out a deal ahead of the March 1 deadline when U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are scheduled to increase to 25 percent from 10 percent.

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With global attention fixated on fraught U . S .- China trade negotiations and on-again, off-again nuclear talks between the U . S . and North Korea, China continues to strengthen its position in the South China Sea .

There was a lull in South China Sea tensions as Beijing sought stability during the Communist Party Congress in October and the U . S . focused on North Korea, Glosserman said. However, tensions will likely build up again as America seeks changes to its trade relationship with China , he added.

U.S. President Donald Trump said last week he did not plan to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before that deadline, dampening hopes that a trade pact could be reached quickly.

Escalating tensions between the United States and China have cost both countries billions of dollars and roiled global financial markets.

The same day the latest talks began, two U.S. warships sailed near islands claimed by China in the disputed South China Sea, a U.S. official told Reuters.

Hua said the ships entered the waters without China's permission, and that China expressed firm opposition and dissatisfaction at the move.

China claims a large part of the South China Sea, and has build artificial islands and air bases there, prompting concern around the region and in Washington.

(Reporting by Michael Martina and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore & Kim Coghill)

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