By: Matthew Pennington, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. and China showed no sign of quelling tension in
the disputed South China Sea as their top diplomats met in Washington on Tuesday. A leading U.S. military officer told Congress that China was seeking to control East Asia.
But there was progress on another front. Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said they were close to agreement on a U.N. resolution to punish North Korea after its recent nuclear test and rocket launch.
China has been reluctant to impose the kind of tough sanctions on its neighbor and traditional ally North Korea that the U.S. has been seeking. But an even more pervasive source of strain in the relationship between the two world powers has been over accusations over militarization in the South China Sea, an important thoroughfare for world trade.
China claims it has a historical right to most of those strategic waters, and has undertaken a massive land reclamation and construction effort on land features although five other Asian governments have territorial claims in the area. The U.S. is not a claimant but says it has an interest in maintaining peace and stability, and freedom of navigation and commerce. [FULL STORY]