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10 November 2018, 05:53 | Darnell Patrick
President Xi meets Henry Kissinger - Xinhua | English.news.cn
Politburo member Yang bluntly told the USA to stop sending ships and aircraft near China-claimed territory in the South China Sea.
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.
The meeting was planned to prepare for the highly-anticipated meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Argentina iat the end of the month.
"The United States will meet with whomever the United States wants to meet with", the official said when asked whether China was warning against such a meeting.
The United States and China must work to ensure that talks between their leaders at a G20 summit this month go well and they manage differences, a top Chinese diplomat said, as the two countries try tentatively to get ties back on track.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis listen to Chinese Communist Party Office of Foreign Affairs Director Yang Jiechi speak as they hold a joint media news conference after participating in a second diplomatic and security meeting at the U.S. Department of State, Washington, U.S., November 9, 2018.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the US has told China that that the American military will "fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows".
Trump and Xi announced the updated negotiation framework past year and the first meeting in the format was held in June 2017 in Washington, when the two sides discussed issues including North Korea and the South China Sea.
The Pentagon had previously declined to comment on a May report quoting unnamed sources with direct knowledge of US intelligence reports as saying that the anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems had been deployed to Fiery Cross Reef, Subi Reef and Mischief Reef in April or early May.
Beijing is now in control of the vast majority of islands, reefs and shoals in the South China Sea, which are also claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Taiwan.
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Beijing has steadily been building artificial islands and military installations to cement its claim to the highly contested territory.
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.
But just as he was speaking, a top advisor to Trump, Peter Navarro, vowed to press China hard on trade.
"Cooperation is the only option for us", Wei said. Washington has protested to Beijing about recent behavior by its warships that the U.S. Navy considered unsafe.
Mattis called the talks "candid" and said that the two militaries looked to improve communication and avoid "miscalculation" at sea.
"The Chinese side has kept the channel of dialogue open".
While the Washington talks focused on security, trade is at the heart of tensions between the world's two biggest economies. Trump has slapped tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese products, in a push to narrow the US trade deficit and push back against what the USA views as predatory Chinese tactics on the high technology industry. Retaliatory measures quickly followed.
Yun Sun, a China expert at the Stimson Center think tank, said Beijing is uncertain about what exactly Trump wants out of a trade deal, but hopes that with US midterm elections out of the way, the mercurial American president may be more inclined to reach a compromise.
"The door to negotiation remains open".
Although the rescheduling of the dialogue signaled an effort by the two sides to contain the slide in the relationship, it did not address the core dispute on trade.
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