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. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

China, US sparring continues over South China Sea

November 09, 2018 - 11:30 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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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