WATCH: China and the U.S. are expected to negotiate on Chinese tariff cuts as Xi and Trump hold talks later this week.Graphic: Choi Won-suk
The United States and China are expected to hold high-level trade talks Thursday in Washington. And another meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping is being sought this weekend during the G-20 summit in Argentina.
In 2017, a nine-year-old boy in China was killed by three Chinese military jets that collided, according to witnesses and local officials.
These events, and more, detail some of the issues that have driven the troubled U.S.-China relationship over the past two years. China has been steadily building a regional military presence to counter American influence in Asia and the Pacific, and its military has been unafraid to take on foreign adversaries.
In March 2017, China said it sent surface-to-air missiles to man-made islands in the South China Sea amid a controversy over U.S. arms sales to rival claimants such as Vietnam and Taiwan.
In April 2018, about 300 Chinese naval and coast guard ships and nine Chinese warplanes sailed through the South China Sea in a show of force that the U.S. said was intended to deter U.S. freedom of navigation operations.
In early May this year, the Chinese military sent a billy club-wielding knife-wielding naval destroyer to a large shoal claimed by Vietnam in the South China Sea.
And earlier this month, dozens of members of a Chinese warship sailed into disputed waters near one of the two islands in the South China Sea that America bought in 1981 as a naval asset. The U.S. says China’s coast guard has been ramming and seizing U.S. Navy vessels and drills in the disputed waters.
In November, China’s most-capable missile unit, the Fifth Fleet, even announced its “invincible military power” on state television to coincide with the country’s annual naval exercises in the South China Sea.
These showdowns, in which the U.S. drills and the Chinese military targets U.S. warships, are bad news for America.
China’s heavy investment in submarines, stealth aircraft and missiles are making America’s military equipment less capable of resisting China’s designs in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait.
China has also been investing in its home-grown weapons, and they are well developed and tailored for precise use.
Meanwhile, the U.S. has been trying to balance its more traditional deep military ties with its longtime allies in the region while also establishing new partnerships.
Military analyst Alexander Vershbow, who is now a senior adviser to the Asia Society, recently wrote that the U.S. needs to reduce its reliance on the nuclear option because of the Chinese military buildup and modernized systems.
The U.S. is also wary of China’s claims that its reclamation projects amount to open-ended military exercises and claims that the U.S. is the aggressor in the South China Sea dispute, which the Chinese would like to control and use to trade and develop resources.
On Thursday, China and the U.S. are expected to hold high-level trade talks at the White House. And another meeting between Trump and Xi is being sought this weekend during the G-20 summit in Argentina.
During this week’s talks, China is likely to be seeking a reduction in tariffs and other trade-related sanctions on its economy, including scrapping the imposition of anti-dumping tariffs on steel and aluminum.
Bloomberg reported that Chinese trade talks with the U.S. would likely focus on intellectual property rights and China’s access to technologies and information in the U.S. as it faces increasing pressure from the Trump administration.
China has been trying to build diplomatic ties with the West, partly on the assumption that the United States may face a harder time building trade links with other countries amid rising protectionism.
China and the United States are expected to begin talks this month on tariffs cuts, Bloomberg reported.
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