In se­cu­rity talks, China bluntly warns US

Belleville News-Democrat - - News - BY MATTHEW PEN­NING­TON

China bluntly told the United States to stop send­ing ships and mil­i­tary air­craft close to is­lands claimed by Bei­jing in the South China Sea, dur­ing talks Fri­day that set the stage for a meet­ing be­tween Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping later this month.

The U.S. pushed back, in­sist­ing it will con­tinue to “fly, sail and op­er­ate wher­ever in­ter­na­tional law al­lows.” In late Septem­ber, U.S. and Chi­nese ves­sels nearly col­lided near a dis­puted reef.

De­spite the frank air­ing of dif­fer­ences at the meet­ing in Wash­ing­ton of the two na­tions’ top diplo­mats and mil­i­tary chiefs, both sides stressed the need to tamp down ten­sions, which have flared amid a bit­ter trade dis­pute that Trump and Xi are ex­pected to tackle at the Group of 20 sum­mit in Ar­gentina.

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