China trade talks resume

China trade talks resume

China accused the US of "tricks" as two American warships sailed through waters claimed by Beijing on the eve of high-level trade talks.

With less than a month before a March 1 deadline for either a deal or an increase in USA tariffs, hardliners inside and outside the administration have expressed concern Trump is being outplayed by Chinese President Xi Jinping and seduced by what they see as empty promises.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying deflected a question about whether the move would impact trade talks expected to get underway Tuesday in Beijing.

Ship and containers are shown at the port of Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California, U.S. July 16, 2018. "I believe you all see through these small tricks by the USA side", Hua told a regular news briefing in Beijing.

Cmdr. Clay Doss, U.S. Seventh Fleet public affairs officer, told Fox News in a statement: "Guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance (DDG 111) and USS Preble (DDG 88) conducted freedom of navigation operations (FONOPS) in the South China Sea".

Speaking about the most recent operation, Commander Clay Doss, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet, told CNN that the action was meant to "to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by global law". While the American side has expressed optimism, officials caution that there are still many large issues between the US and China. The operation was the second in the South China Sea reported by the US Navy this year.

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Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day truce in their trade war in December to allow trade talks to have ample space to proceed.

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative last week said China dispatched nearly 100 vessels to the Spratly chain in an effort to stop the Philippines from building on another feature known as Thitu Reef.

"China urges the immediately stop such provocative actions and earnestly respect the efforts by regional countries to maintain the peace and stability of the South China Sea".

Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan all have competing claims for territory in the region.

The US has also sailed warships through the Taiwan Strait, drawing Beijing's ire. The U.S. president has said no deal will be final until he meets with his Chinese counterpart.

-With assistance from Cecilia Yap.

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