02:15 GMT28 January 2020
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    US civilian and military leaders had a frank discussion with their Chinese counterparts regarding Beijing’s aggression in the South China Sea ahead of the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue to be held in Washington, DC on June 23-24, a US State Department official said on Monday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On June 16, 2015, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said China will build military and civil facilities after completing land reclamation on the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, which has been the subject of territorial disputes between China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

    “We also reiterated… our concerns about China’s behavior in the South China Sea, and stressed that substantive diplomacy is the proper way to resolve disputes among the claimants in this region.”

    Earlier on Monday, the official explained, State Department representatives led by Deputy Secretary Tony Blinken met with Chinese Foreign Ministry leaders to discuss security issues that are most likely to drive “strategic mistrust,” including tensions around Chinese expansion in the South China Sea.

    On Tuesday and Wednesday, the official announced, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi will direct strategic dialogue sessions while US Treasury Department Secretary Jack Lew co-chairs economic discussions with China’s Vice Premier Wang Yang.

    The agenda will include a range of economic and security issues including military-to-military relations, human rights, cybersecurity, missile defense, countering pandemics like Ebola, maritime security, climate change, energy, nuclear nonproliferation and policies related to Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan, the official added.

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    South China Sea, China, United States
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