USA and China to Hold Security Talks Amid Trade Tensions

Yang Jiechi a member of the Politburo, believes a breakthrough in the trade war is possible

Yang Jiechi a member of the Politburo, believes a breakthrough in the trade war is possible

"As part and parcel of the global industrial chain, China-US trade and economic relations help allocate resources globally in a more efficient way, hence it is critical to the world economy", Mr. Yang said.

Jeffrey Ordaniel, a research fellow at the Pacific Forum, said on Twitter that although the demand by the USA was a first, it was "very unlikely" that China would heed that call. U.S. President Donald Trump has promised to fix China's "longtime abuse of the broken worldwide system and unfair practices".

"The United States called on China to withdraw its missile systems from disputed features in the Spratly Islands, and reaffirmed that all countries should avoid addressing disputes through coercion or intimidation", the statement said.

Even as the United States and China confront hard challenges, "cooperation remains essential on many issues", he said, citing efforts to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear program.

The shock warning came in the middle of a press conference with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Pompeo also criticized Beijing's policies in East Asia and stressed that the United States is not seeking a new Cold war with China. -China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue signals an effort by the two sides to contain the slide in the relationship, it's something of a placeholder ahead of a planned meeting at the end of the month between President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping at a Group of 20 summit in Argentina.

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Mattis repeated the position that "the United States will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever worldwide law allows".

"China is in damage control mode", said Yun Sun, a China expert at the Stimson Center think tank, noting Beijing's uncertainty about what exactly Trump wants out of trade deal but its hopes that with USA mid-term elections out of the way the mercurial American president may be more inclined to reach a compromise.

Calling Kissinger an old friend of the Chinese people, Xi applauded the US diplomat's contribution to bilateral relations.

Responding sharply to Pompeo's mention of Taiwan, which China considers a wayward province but which is armed by Washington, Wei said Beijing would defend its claim on the island "at any cost".

In July 2016, the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) issued a landmark ruling that Beijing's expansive "nine-dash line" claim to the South China Sea had no legal basis.

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However, Yang and Chinese defense minister Wei Fenghe spoke of the need to improve cooperation, including between the US and Chinese militaries, to ease the risk of conflict as the two powers jockey for pre-eminence in the Asia-Pacific.

Pompeo said the USA had also expressed concern about China's approach to Taiwan, particularly its efforts to limit global engagement with the breakaway province.

"Cooperation is the only option for us", Wei said. China and the US should better understand each other and enhance communication to expand mutual benefits while managing disagreements.

US officials said they would not halt so-called freedom-of-navigation patrols that are aimed at ensuring countries do not restrict traffic in worldwide waters.

Lyle Morris, a senior policy analyst at the Rand Corp. focusing on Chinese foreign policy and Asia-pacific security, wrote on Twitter that while military-to-military relationship is "stable and communication is open and frank", both sides "are deeply entrenched in a security dilemma" in the South China Sea in which they disagree on the factors and causes of militarization.

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Both presidents have voiced optimism they can break the trade impasse between the world's two biggest economies. Beijing has retaliated with tariffs on $110 million worth of US goods. "The door to negotiations remains open", the top Chinese diplomat said and expressed hope that the two sides find a "mutually acceptable solution" to the ongoing trade issue. Retaliatory measures quickly followed.

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