Respect our choices, China's Xi says ahead of Trump G20 meeting

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

Top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi (YAHNG jee-uh-CHERR) is making his government's position clear after the latest round of U.S.

China and the United States should correctly judge each other's strategic intentions, and while China wanted to resolve problems via talks, the United States should respect China's choice of development path and legitimate interests, Xi added.

"China is in damage control mode", said Yun Sun, a China expert at the Stimson Center think tank, noting Beijing's uncertainty about what exactly Trump wants out of trade deal but its hopes that with US mid-term elections out of the way the mercurial American president may be more inclined to reach a compromise.

Mattis made clear that this demand go unheeded by Washington, which insists it is acting under global law to preserve access for it and others to the South China Sea.

The United States sees Taiwan as part of a network of Asian democracies, and informal Taiwan-U.S. ties have improved under U.S. President Donald Trump.

"China is committed to working with the achieve a no-confrontational, conflictless, mutually respectful co-operation in which both sides win", added Yang, who heads the ruling Communist Party's foreign affairs commission.

The meeting paired Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis with Chinese Politburo member Yang Jiechi and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe.

Xi told former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger that he and Trump would have "a deep exchange of views" in Argentina, according to the Chinese state news agency.

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".

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"We have continued concerns about China's activities and militarization in the South China Sea", Pompeo said following the talks. 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.

But the exchange on display before reporters served to show just how much space there is between the two sides, particularly over the South China Sea and freedom of navigation.

China and the USA are now locked in an ongoing trade war as each country has introduced tariffs on goods traded between each other.

He also singled out Trump's decision to pursue a trade war with Beijing, saying that "a trade war, instead of leading to any solution, will only end up hurting both sides and the global economy". Beijing has retaliated with tariffs on $110 million worth of USA goods. "We pressed China to live up to its past commitments in this area".

Washington has also been increasingly critical of Chinese treatment of religious minorities, including Uygur Muslims in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang.

"The fact that China started use of meteorological observation stations on the illegally built structures in the Spratlys has seriously violated Vietnam's sovereignty over the islands", she said.

Calling Kissinger an old friend of the Chinese people, Xi applauded the USA diplomat's contribution to bilateral relations.

Yang said that China, North Korea's main lifeline, would enforce United Nations sanctions but voiced hope that Washington and Pyongyang "will meet each other halfway" and "accommodate each other's legitimate concerns".

A senior administration official said Pence's meetings with regional leaders were still being planned, but a meeting between Pence and Chang, Taiwan's envoy to APEC, was not being ruled out. Yang insisted that Chinese people have freedom of religion, and that "foreign countries have no right to interfere".

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