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    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (R) is greeted by China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi before a meeting at the World Conference Center February 17, 2017 in Bonn, western Germany.

    US, China Complete Dialogue on Maritime Law, Polar Issues - State Department

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    Officials from the United States and China have held the eighth annual bilateral talks in Washington on issues related to maritime shipping and polar exploration, according to the US Department of State.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Officials from the United States and China have held the eighth annual bilateral talks in Washington on issues related to maritime shipping and polar exploration, the US Department of State said in a press release on Tuesday.

    "The delegations were led by Evan Bloom, Director for Ocean and Polar Affairs in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs of the US Department of State, and Ma Xinmin, Deputy-Director General in the Department of Treaty and Law in China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs," the release stated.

    The release provided no details other than explaining that both sides "exchanged views on a wide range of issues related to oceans, the law of the sea, and the polar regions."

    The United States never signed the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), although Washington abides by provisions of the treaty. China ratified the UNCLOS convention in 1996.

    China recently rejected a UNCLOS arbitration ruling backing a Philippine claim to some islands in the South China Sea, on which Beijing has established military bases to back its claim of sovereignty over the entire body of water.

    The United States and other nations view the South China Sea as international water and have defied Beijing by participating in US-led freedom-of-navigation military exercises in the key shipping route through Southeast Asia.

    China is also actively exploring the Arctic Ocean, an unwelcome presence by bordering nations of Canada, Norway, Russia, Denmark and the United States, which have overlapping claims to the mineral rich region.

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