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China's FM to meet with Obama

 Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, shakes hands with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Wednesday, March 11, 2009, at the State Dep...
 Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, walks with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Wednesday, March 11, 2009, at the State Department...
 Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, listens as Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi speaks, Wednesday, March 11, 2009, at the State Dep...

US China

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, shakes hands with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Wednesday, March 11, 2009, at the State Dep...

US China

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, walks with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Wednesday, March 11, 2009, at the State Department...

APTOPIX US China

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, listens as Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi speaks, Wednesday, March 11, 2009, at the State Dep...

Amid tensions between China and the U.S. over a confrontation at sea, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi was meeting Thursday with President Barack Obama.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said he expects the dispute will be discussed but will not dominate the conversation. Yang also is expected to meet with Obama's national security adviser James Jones, a former U.S. Marine Corps general.
Yang met Wednesday with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Clinton said the U.S. and China agreed on the need to reduce tensions and avoid a repeat of the weekend confrontation between American and Chinese vessels in the South China Sea.
"We both agreed that we should work to ensure that such incidents do not happen again," Clinton told reporters after meeting Yang at the State Department.
China's Defense Ministry on Thursday demanded that the U.S. Navy end surveillance missions off the country's southern coast. In its first public comment on the Sunday episode, the ministry repeated earlier statements from the Foreign Ministry that the unarmed U.S. ship was operating illegally inside China's exclusive economic zone when it was challenged by three Chinese government ships and two Chinese-flagged trawlers.
At the Pentagon, Defense Department press secretary Geoff Morrell said the U.S. hopes that "face-to-face dialogue in Beijing and in Washington will go a long way to clearing up any misunderstanding about this incident."
Even if diplomatic efforts by Clinton and Yang are successful in toning down the dispute, however, it may be only a temporary lull in a larger military disagreement.
Beijing has long complained about U.S. surveillance operations around China's borders. Without better communications between the two militaries as they operate in the South China Sea, the possibility for conflict will remain.
The U.S. accused Chinese ships of surrounding and harassing its Navy vessel in international waters, coming within 25 feet (8 meters) of the USNS Impeccable and strewing debris in its path.
The tension arose as the Obama administration tries to get Chinese help on a host of foreign policy matters, including efforts to confront Iran and North Korea over their nuclear programs, stabilize Afghanistan and Pakistan and help stanch the worldwide economic meltdown.


Updated : 2021-05-13 12:27 GMT+08:00