Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

US, China to resume talks to resolve trade disputes

Yang Jiechi a member of the Politburo, believes a breakthrough in the trade war is possible Yang Jiechi a member of the Politburo, believes a breakthrough in the trade war is possible
Ellis Copeland | 10 November, 2018, 17:55

China is telling the U.S.to stop sending American ships and military aircraft close to islands that Beijing claims in the South China Sea.

"The Chinese side made it clear to the United States that it should stop sending its vessels and military aircraft close to Chinese islands and reefs and stop actions that undermine Chinese authority and security interests", said Pompeo's Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, who also had sharp words over US support for Taiwan.

"The Chinese side made it clear to the United States that it should stop sending its vessels and military aircraft close to Chinese islands and reefs and stop actions that undermine China's sovereignty and security interests", he said.

Mattis responded that the USA would "fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows".

Xi said China and the US need to make "accurate judgments" of each other's strategic intentions.

The U.S. defense chief also said the two sides had "discussed the importance for all military, law enforcement, and civilian vessels and aircraft, including those in the PLA Navy, the Chinese Coast Guard, and the PRC Maritime Militia, to operate in a safe and professional manner, in accordance with global law, as we seek peaceful resolution of all disputes in the South China Sea".

And a high-profile meeting could occur in the coming days, when U.S. Vice President Mike Pence travels to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Papua New Guinea.

Wei warned that "confrontation or conflict between the two militaries will spell disaster for all" and said that "cooperation is the only option for us".

Bryce Harper rejected contract offer from Nationals
Importantly for any future negotiations, Harper's deal would not be the largest in baseball history by average annual value. Despite the presence of Harper and Manny Machado on the market, it seems the Red Sox have other, more pressing issues.


California wildfire roars to life, forces thousands to flee
Firefighter Adrien Mahnke pauses while battling the Camp Fire as it tears through Paradise, Calif ., on November 8, 2018. Visibility is nearly zero at times due to the smoke an ash. "Not one home will be left standing", he said.


Norway frigate could sink after collision with oil tanker
The tanker had already left Equinor's Sture oil terminal with a cargo of North Sea crude, Reuters news agency reports . The shipping site Sysla reported the tanker had been loaded with crude oil and was on its way to Britain.


Top on that list is the South China Sea, where warships from the two countries recently had a near-collision, and Taiwan, where the United States has been signaling a policy shift with more frequent arms sales and the sailing of ships near the island. The U.S. also seeks action from China on the export of a synthetic form of opioids called fentanyl that is a scourge of drug addiction in America.

Pompeo said the U.S. had also expressed concern about China's approach to Taiwan, particularly its efforts to limit worldwide engagement with the breakaway province. "The door to negotiations remains open", the top Chinese diplomat said and expressed hope that the two sides find a "mutually acceptable solution" to the ongoing trade issue.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the talks were "candid" but that the two militaries looked to improve communication and avoid "miscalculation" at sea.

A meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump at a G20 summit this month will be of great significance to both sides, the Chinese government's top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, said on Thursday.

China and the U.S. have put tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of each other's goods and Trump has threatened to set tariffs on the remainder of China's US$500 billion-plus exports to the United States if the dispute can not be resolved. China and the USA should better understand each other and enhance communication to expand mutual benefits while managing disagreements.

Kissinger said the bilateral relationship requires strategic thinking and vision. But overall, the tone of the USA officials' public comments was milder than that of the Chinese.

"We want this to be a constructive, results-orientated relationship with China", U.S. Ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, told reporters on Thursday. While the Trump administration has generally been soft-spoken on human rights, at least with allies, Pompeo denounced China's "repression" of religious and minority groups including the Uighur community, citing a United Nations report that up to one million members of the mostly Muslim ethnic group have been rounded up in detention camps. Yang insisted that Chinese people have freedom of religion, and that "foreign countries have no right to interfere".

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