China, US sparring continues over South China Sea

 
 
Posted11/10/2018 7:00 AM
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  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, shakes hands with Chinese Politburo Member Yang Jiechi at the conclusion of a news conference at the State Department in Washington, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018.

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, shakes hands with Chinese Politburo Member Yang Jiechi at the conclusion of a news conference at the State Department in Washington, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. Associated Press

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Chinese Minister of Defense General Wei Fenghe, stand as the national anthems are played during an welcome ceremony at the Pentagon, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018.

    Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Chinese Minister of Defense General Wei Fenghe, stand as the national anthems are played during an welcome ceremony at the Pentagon, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. Associated Press

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Chinese Minister of Defense General Wei Fenghe, stand as the national anthems are played during an enhanced honor cordon at the Pentagon, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018.

    Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Chinese Minister of Defense General Wei Fenghe, stand as the national anthems are played during an enhanced honor cordon at the Pentagon, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. Associated Press

  • Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, left, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, second from left, Chinese Politburo Member Yang Jiechi, third from right, and Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe, second from right, meet at the State Department in Washington, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018.

    Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, left, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, second from left, Chinese Politburo Member Yang Jiechi, third from right, and Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe, second from right, meet at the State Department in Washington, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. Associated Press

  • From left, Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe, Chinese Politburo Member Yang Jiechi, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, participate in a news conference at the State Department in Washington, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018.

    From left, Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe, Chinese Politburo Member Yang Jiechi, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, participate in a news conference at the State Department in Washington, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. Associated Press

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

The U.S. pushed back Friday, 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 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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