China, US reaffirm commitment to ‘avoid military confrontation’ in South China Sea

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The Sino-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue has softened tensions between Beijing and Washington ahead of President Xi Jinping’s visit to the United States in September, analysts say.

“Both [sides] made progress … with tensions in the South China Sea eased as both sides reiterated their will to avoid military confrontation in the region,” said Wang Fan, from the China Foreign Affairs University.

The improved relations paved the way for Xi’s September trip to the US, Wang said.

Although the two-day talks achieved few tangible results, both Chinese and US negotiators had realised the value of cooperation over confrontation, the analyst said.

“Beijing and Washington … are getting used to working together amid their disagreements, although it will still take time for the two giants to comprehend each other,” Wang said.

The two nations have pledged to jointly protect the oceans and vowed to step up efforts in combating wildlife trafficking as well as in nuclear non-proliferation.

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew also cited significant progress on a long-standing US concern that the renminbi was undervalued against the dollar.

 

Read more: http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/1826658/china-us-focus-cooperation-tensions-remain

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