BEIJING (Sputnik) – Earlier this week, the USS Lassen destroyer sailed through the disputed waters in the South China Sea in the first of a series of planned patrols challenging Chinese territorial claims.
According to the China Daily newspaper, Harris’ visit may be a chance to increase mutual understanding.
Other media reports suggested that the visit would take place on November 2-5, while others claimed that Washington and Beijing would take part in a videoconference.
The United States has warned that it does not recognize the Chinese claims of sovereignty over the man-made islands, and has repeatedly raised concerns over Beijing’s activities in the region.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said after the incident that China considered the passing of a US warship within 12 nautical miles of the artificially created islands in the Spratly archipelago to be illegal and a violation of China’s sovereignty.