USA and China to Hold Security Talks Amid Trade Tensions
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
10 November, 2018, 10:25
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis during talks with Chinese officials said the United States wants Beijing to withdraw its missiles from the Spratly islands in the South China Sea, the State Department said in a press release.
In today's meeting Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and two high-ranking Chinese policymakers are also likely to discuss steps to reduce military friction between the two countries.
China and the United States have put tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of each other's goods and U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to set tariffs on the remainder of China's US$500 billion-plus exports to the United States if the trade dispute can not be resolved.
Friday's Washington talks saw the Chinese and United States parties locked in discussions over trade and China's clampdown on its Muslim minority, as well as security concerns.
"The U.S.is not pursuing a cold war or containment policy with China".
Yang said China supports direct dialogue between America and North Korea and hope that the two sides will "accommodate each other's legitimate concerns, build trust and advance denuclearisation process and the establishment of a peace mechanism in tandem". "Rather, we want to make sure China acts responsibly and fairly".
A planned trip to Beijing by Mr Mattis last month was halted as military tensions between the United States and China escalated.
Yang, joined by Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe, are holding a security and diplomatic dialogue with the United States in Washington on Friday.
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However, Yang and Chinese defense minister Wei Fenghe spoke of the need to improve cooperation, including between the USA and Chinese militaries, to ease the risk of conflict as the two powers jockey for pre-eminence in the Asia-Pacific.
"We pressed China to live up to its past commitments in this area". "Confrontation and conflict between the two militaries will spell disaster for us all".
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.
A senior administration official said Pence's meetings with regional leaders were still being planned, but a meeting between Pence and Chang, Taiwan's envoy to APEC, was not being ruled out. "And let's not forget how our two sides have successfully navigated through previous rough patches in our economic and trade relations", he said.
China and the U.S. have put tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of each other's goods and Trump has threatened to set tariffs on the remainder of China's US$500 billion-plus exports to the United States if the dispute can not be resolved.
China and the U.S. are now locked in an ongoing trade war as each country has introduced tariffs on goods traded between each other.
Pompeo and Mattis also told China to stop militarizing the islands in the South China Sea. "Their top priority is to stabilize relations", she said. While the Trump administration has generally been soft-spoken on human rights, at least with allies, Pompeo denounced China's "repression" of religious and minority groups including the Uighur community, citing a United Nations report that up to one million members of the mostly Muslim ethnic group have been rounded up in detention camps.
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