China's Xi to meet top US trade officials

World War 3 fears in South China Sea

The so-called freedom-of-navigation patrols were reported earlier Monday by Reuters, which cited an unidentified US official.

Xi is scheduled to meet key members of the U.S. delegation, including trade representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in Beijing on Friday, the South China Morning Post reported, citing unidentified people.

China then accused the United States of trespassing, and Chinese media announced it had deployed a "far-reaching anti-ship ballistic missile", the DF-26, that was "capable of targeting medium and large ships".

"The relevant actions of the USA warships violated Chinese sovereignty, and undermined peace, security, and order in the relevant sea areas", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Monday, South China Morning Post reported.

She urged the United States to cease the "provocative actions". He noted "that is true in the South China Sea as in other places around the globe".

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

Navy spokesman Commander Clay Doss told USA media: "All operations are designed in accordance with worldwide law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows".

"All operations are designed in accordance with worldwide law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows", Doss added, arguing "that is true in the South China Sea as in other places around the globe".

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Monday's sail-by is the second U.S. freedom-of-navigation operation in the South China Sea this year.

But Hua slammed the US, arguing that "China has indisputable sovereignty over islands in the South China Sea, including the Second Thomas Shoal, Mischief Reef, and the adjacent waters".

In October, the destroyer USS Decatur had to maneuver to avoid a collision with a Chinese warship that came within 45 yards of its bow.

President Donald Trump said he's open to extending a March 1 deadline to raise tariffs on Chinese products if the two sides are near an agreement, sending a conciliatory signal amid talks to resolve the trade war between the world's two biggest economies.

Two U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyers sailed within 12 nautical miles of a disputed artificial island in the South China Sea on Monday, prompting "strong dissatisfaction" from China.

Last year, China added surface-to-air missiles to the contested island, one of three that the Chinese military fortified in 2018.

"At some point, I expect to meet with President Xi, who I have a lot of respect for a like a lot, and make the parts of the deal that the group is unable to make".

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