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U.S. national security advisor to visit China amid tensions over South China Sea, THAAD

All News 01:38 July 23, 2016

WASHINGTON, July 22 (Yonhap) -- U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice will visit China next week for talks with top Chinese officials, her office said Friday, as tensions between the two countries have flared anew over the South China Sea and the THAAD missile defense system.

The four-day visit starting Sunday comes after an international tribunal rejected China's territorial claims to most of the South China Sea in a victory for the Philippines and other Southeast Asian nations locked in maritime disputes with Beijing.

It also comes after South Korea and the United States announced a joint decision to deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense battery in the South to better defend against growing nuclear and missile threats from North Korea.

China has strongly protested both the South China Sea ruling and the THAAD deployment decision.

In Beijing, Rice will meet with senior government officials, including State Councilor Yang Jiechi, to consult on a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues in advance of President Barack Obama's travel to China in September for a summit of the Group of 20 nations, National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

The trip also includes a stop in Shanghai, where Rice will meet with business executives to discuss conditions for U.S. businesses operating in China. While there, she also will interact with private Chinese citizens, Price said.

"Throughout her visit, Ambassador Rice will underscore the United States' commitment to expanding practical cooperation and constructively managing differences with China. This visit will be Ambassador Rice's fourth trip to China as National Security Advisor," he said.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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