On Monday, US National Security Advisor Susan Rice sat down with Chinese President Xi Jinping in an attempt to boost mutual trust and stabilize growing tensions in the aftermath of The Hague tribunal’s ruling on the South China Sea.
"China is willing to work with the US to… boost mutual trust, deepen cooperation and manage and control differences in a constructive way," President Xi Jinping told US National Security Advisor Susan Rice, according to a news release issued after the meeting.
Rice will be in China from Sunday to Wednesday, for expansive talks with Chinese officials in a lead-up to US President Barack Obama’s visit to the G20 summit in the city of Hangzhou, in the country’s Zhejiang province, this September.
The visit comes after Beijing expressly rejected a July 12 arbitration ruling in response to a case brought by the Philippines. China claims that the arbitration court overstepped its bounds and does not have jurisdiction to interpret the treaty of the Law of the Sea, as it impacts China, without Beijing first submitting itself to the court, a position widely accepted by international legal scholars.
An already tense situation in the South China Sea has become increasingly unbalanced, as the US moves to install the advanced THAAD missile-defense system in South Korea, claiming the need to protect against North Korean military threats. The THAAD missile system’s range, however, extends well into the mainland of Russia and China, leading to fierce objections from Moscow and Beijing.
Still, China appears set to seek diplomacy in the face of US interventionism in the region, with President Xi Jinping asserting that “China has no intention to challenge the existing international order and rules,” and that he hoped to meet President Obama at the G20 summit to “set a clear direction and lay the foundation” for the stable development of bilateral ties.