America Is Pressing China To Stop Arming In The South China Sea
By Reuters 10 hours ago
The United States on Friday urged China to stop its armament in the disputed South China Sea, prompting Beijing to respond by criticizing Washington for sending US warships and planes to islands in which China claims sovereignty in the strategic region.
Many geopolitical differences surfaced during a round of high-level talks in Washington, including bitter trade disputes, free navigation in Asia and the Pacific, the Taiwan issue and China's crackdown on its Muslim minority. The talks appeared to contain damage to the past months and pave the way for a summit between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Argentina later this month. "Cooperation remains necessary at many levels," said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, even though the United States and China face tough challenges in their relationship, referring to efforts to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear program.
The meeting included Pompeo, Defense Minister Jim Matisse, Chinese Political Bureau member Yang Jiechi and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe. The US-China diplomatic diplomatic dialogue was to be held in Beijing last month but was canceled due to rising tensions between the two countries.
Pompeo criticized China for continuing to build military facilities on industrial islands in the South China Sea, which China insists on full sovereignty over, despite demands from neighboring countries for sovereignty.
"We have continued concerns about China's activities and armaments in the South China Sea," Pompeo said after the talks. "We pressed China to fulfill its previous commitments in this area."
Yang said China is committed to working with the United States "to avoid confrontation," but urged it to stop sending warships and aircraft near islands that Beijing is imposing on. Washington insists it is acting under international law to maintain its right to pass through the South China Sea.