World / Asia-Pacific

China 'to press US' on maritime issues

By Wu Jiao and Zhang Yunbi (China Daily) Updated: 2016-05-31 02:18

Talks in Beijing also expected to consider Korean nuclear issue

Beijing will pressure Washington over maritime issues during the upcoming annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue, as the United States' increasing military presence in the South China Sea is among China's major concerns, officials told China Daily.

China will bring up topics related to its major concerns, including the Taiwan question, Tibet and maritime security, and it will respond to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, which the US is expected to raise, two sources familiar with the matters said on condition of anonymity.

The two countries have differing pursuits on major issues at the strategic level. However, the two still have many common interests, they said.

Whether it is on the South China Sea issue or on the Korean Peninsula issue, the two countries have a shared security goal to maintain regional stability, they said.

Beijing announced on Monday that the annual dialogue will take place in Beijing on June 6 and 7.

China hopes to "properly tackle differences" alongside the US, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.

The dialogue, which started in 2009, has become the highest-level, regular bilateral communication channel for the world's two largest economies to compare notes on key issues concerning diplomacy, security and economy.

Observers noted that the eighth dialogue will be the last to be co-chaired by President Barack Obama's administration.

On the economic track, Na- than Sheets, US undersecretary of the Treasury for international affairs, reaffirmed on May 24 the Obama administration's commitment to reaching a bilateral investment treaty agreement before Obama's presidency ends.

Sources also said that China will urge the US to provide a level playing field for Chinese investment.

China's investment in the US in the first quarter of this year is expected to be more than double that of the first quarter of last year, according to the National Committee on United States-China Relations, based in New York.

Ruan Zongze, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, said the South China Sea issue will be brought to the table because it has affected the two-way ties, and the US has been "undermining regional stability" while "rebalancing to Asia" in the past two years.

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