To that end, America carries out what it calls "freedom of navigation operations" by sailing within 12 nautical miles of islands claimed by the Chinese - but which also have rival claims from other nations, including U.S. allies.
The global economy has been suffering from the chilling effect of a trade war between the world's two largest economies. President Donald Trump has accused China of pursuing dishonest economic practices, including currency manipulation and the forced sharing of intellectual property, among other accusations that the White House has labeled a threat to job security at home.
Beijing's growing commercial and political ties with its neighbours will make it harder for Washington to find "Asian countries willing to stand at its side and help contain China", the newspaper said.
Neither side gave details of their agenda but Gerrish's delegation includes agriculture, energy, commerce, treasury and State Department officials.
Increased purchases by China of USA soybeans, oil, liquefied natural gas and financial services are viewed as easier to achieve than major changes to China's industrial policies aimed at transferring U.S. technology to Chinese firms.
Officials from both countries are meeting in China this week in the first face-to-face interaction they've had since last November, when they agreed to a 90-day cease-fire in their trade dispute.
Asked for his reaction on the American ship sailing through the Paracel islands which China claims Xisha islands, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Beijing has lodged strong protest to the United States on this. The Trump administration also objects to Chinese industry development plans that Washington, Europe, Japan and other trading partners say violate Beijing's market-opening obligations. Before they bring Lighthizer to the table, Prasad said the U.S.is trying to see exactly what sort of offer China is willing to put on the table first.
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US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Monday that China's economy is more vulnerable to the fallout from the trade war.
The trade clash reflects American anxiety about China's rise as a potential competitor in telecommunications and other technology.
United States officials held a second day of trade talks with Chinese counterparts in Beijing on Tuesday, overshadowed by an unannounced visit from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The move prompted China to increase tariffs on Dollars 110 billion of USA goods.
Trump raised import duties on Chinese goods in July over longstanding complaints Beijing steals technology or pressures foreign companies to hand it over. "That's probably the easiest one to solve", Ross said.
The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3.4 percent in the third quarter, and unemployment is at a five-decade low. Among many things, the Communist leader pledged to buy more USA agricultural and industrial products, allow increased access to Chinese markets, and abide by more cybersecurity and property theft rules. They complain China's companies are treated unfairly in national security reviews of proposed corporate acquisitions, though nearly all deals are approved unchanged.