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US B-52s fly over South and East China Seas

US B-52s fly over South and East China Seas

Mattis traveled to China in June in an attempt to deepen military-to-military dialogue with Beijing, even as Sino-U.S. trade tensions climb and anxiety in Washington grows over China's modernization of its armed forces and its increasingly muscular military posture in the South China Sea.

Beijing has denied a US port visit to Hong Kong amid trade tensions and sanctions, according to a Tuesday Wall Street Journal report. The Chinese foreign ministry warned of "severe damage" to bilateral relations if the sale announced Monday goes through.

At a meeting with former USA secretary of state Henry Kissinger on Tuesday in NY on the sidelines of a United Nations meeting, Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi said: "China and the United States can have competition, but should not use a Cold War mentality to view each other, and nor should they slip into the trap of a zero-sum game".

The rejection of the ship's port call request comes as the U.S. and China quarrel over trade and sanctions, as well as longstanding issues like the South China Sea, the Korean Peninsula, and Taiwan. The U.S. action relates to China's purchase from Russian Federation of Su-35 combat aircraft last year and S-400 surface-to-air missile system-related equipment this year.

Beijing sees Taiwan as part of its territory awaiting unification, and is deeply suspicious of the island's relations with the US. "In China, they are debating how they can respond and there are hawks who say, 'we have to strike back'".

The two countries are mired in a dispute over Washington's allegations that Beijing pilfers foreign trade secrets and forces US companies to hand over technology in return for access to the Chinese market.

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On Tuesday, US B-52s also "participated in a regularly scheduled, combined operation in the vicinity of the East China Sea", Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Dave Eastburn told CNN.

China has claimed large swathes of the strategic waterway and built up a series of islands and maritime features, turning them into military facilities. In his address Tuesday to the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Trump thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping for his assistance with the North Korea problem, but he also blasted China for what he called unfair use of worldwide trade rules to diminish U.S.jobs and deepen US trade deficits. Those purchases violated a 2017 law meant to punish the Russian government for interfering in USA elections and other activities.

"The Chinese Government did not approve a request for a U.S. port visit to Hong Kong by the USS Wasp", Darragh Paradiso, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong, said in an email.

Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang summoned US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad over the sanctions.

'The Chinese government did not approve a request for a U.S. port visit to Hong Kong by the USS Wasp, ' Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel David Eastburn said.


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