U.S. warship sails in South China Sea amid trade talks with Beijing


U.S. warship sails in South China Sea amid trade talks with Beijing

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday the two sides were narrowing their differences, with Chinese officials offering greater purchases of United States goods and services and Cabinet-level follow-up meetings expected later this month.

"I can confirm we are continuing tomorrow (Wednesday)", Steven Winberg, assistant energy secretary, told reporters after returning to his hotel in Beijing.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. trade representative's office, which is leading the USA negotiating team, said talks would continue on Wednesday and "a statement will likely follow then".

"The Chinese side immediately sent military vessels and aircraft to conduct verification and identification on the US ship and warned it to leave", Lu told the briefing.

A member of the USA delegation said the two sides would resume talks on Wednesday as they continue their first face-to-face meetings since Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a tariff truce during a meeting in Argentina on December 1.

He declined to provide more details.

The United States and China will continue trade talks in Beijing for an unscheduled third day, U.S. officials said on Tuesday amid signs of progress on issues including purchases of USA farm and energy commodities and increased access to China's markets. This meeting was previously unscheduled, signaling the two sides could be coming together on key issues. "That's probably the easiest one to solve", Ross said.

Without a resolution, punitive United States duty rates on US$200 billion in Chinese goods are due to rise to 25 percent from 10 per cent on March 2.

But it again rejected Trump's assessment that Beijing is engaging in trade talks due to what he described as China's slumping economy.

U.S. warship sails in South China Sea amid trade talks with Beijing
U.S. warship sails in South China Sea amid trade talks with Beijing

As the Trump administration continues trade negotiations with China, the USA delegation is taking additional steps to make sure the Communist country follows through on its pledges.

Scott Kennedy, director of the Project on Chinese Business and Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said the two sides for the first time were discussing topics that matter most to the Trump administration.

"China's ability to use (North Korea) as leverage has diminished considerably since Trump opened his own channel to Kim", she said.

U.S. President Donald Trump says the on-going trade talks with China are going very well.

Optimistic investors are placing their bets on the stock market once again, boosted by the United States' and China's latest attempt to resolve their trade war. "The US is very clear about China's stance".

US officials worry that China's rise as a potential competitor in telecoms, solar power, electric cars and other fields might erode American industrial leadership.

The US and its allies periodically send planes and warships through the area, which is claimed by China, to signal to Beijing their right under worldwide law to pass through the waters.

The warship, he said, had violated Chinese and global law, infringed on Chinese sovereignty and undermined peace and stability.

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