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    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to journalists before a meeting with French Foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, in Paris, Monday, May 9, 2016

    US State Secretary Kerry to Visit France, Mongolia, China June 2-8

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    US Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to France and Mongolia next week before visiting China amid tense regional ties, State Department Spokesperson John Kirby said in a statement Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Kerry’s June 5-7 visit to China for the eighth US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) comes as Washington and Beijing are at odds over China's artificial islands in the South China Sea.

    "US Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Paris, France; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; and Beijing, China, June 2–8," Kirby said.

    China claims sovereignty over the entire South China Sea, which contains some of the world’s most crowded international shipping lanes.

    In rejecting Chinese claims, the United States frequently conducts exercises with other nations in the region, in which ships and planes come within the 12-mile international limit of China’s military bases on both sides of the international waterway.

    Additionally, US air and naval patrols persistently challenge China's claims over territories disputed with Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan.

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    official visit, John Kerry, France, China, United States
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