China’s Xi presides over large-scale naval display in South China Sea

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China's Xi presides over large-scale naval display in South China Sea

A former top Chinese Communist Party official who was once tipped for a leadership post pleaded guilty to accepting millions in bribes at his trial Thursday, the latest senior cadre to fall in President Xi Jinping’s sweeping anti-corruption crusade. Trump responded via Twitter he was “thankful” for Xi’s remarks on tariffs and access for USA automakers, and said both countries would “make great progress together”.

It would be misleading to say Xi’s pledge at the Boao Forum this week – Asia’ version of Davos – was a concession to the United States, commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng said at a regular press briefing in Beijing.

China’s commerce ministry said on Thursday trade negotiations with the United States would be impossible as Washington’s attempts at dialogue were not honest, and vowed to retaliate if U.S. President Donald Trump escalates current tensions.

The world’s two largest economies have threatened each other with tens of billions of dollars’ worth of tariffs in recent weeks.

Gao noted that formal talks to resolve the trade dispute between the USA and China were not yet underway, and that the Trump administration had shown a lack of “sincerity” in its overtures.

The naval review comes as the USS Theodore Roosevelt, leading a carrier strike group, conducted what the US military called routine training in the disputed South China Sea on Tuesday. “I think it will end up the tariffs off and the barriers down”.

But China’s military build-up has unnerved its neighbors, particularly because of its increasing assertiveness in territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas and over Taiwan, a self-ruled territory Beijing claims as its own.

The situation escalated last week when Trump announced that he had instructed the US trade representative to consider tariffs on an additional $100 billion in Chinese goods. Beijing denies this charge.

He warned that China stood ready to retaliate if the USA moved forward with plans to impose stiff duties on Chinese products.

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