US B-52s fly over South and East China Seas

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The Chinese government is not going to allow a U.S. Navy warship to dock in Hong Kong.

China on Tuesday asked the United States to cancel the proposed $330-million arms deal with Taiwan, warning "severe damage" to bilateral ties, peace and stability in the region. In a statement, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said China has also officially lodged its protest with the US. -China trade dispute. Each imposed tariff increases on the other's goods Monday, and Beijing accused the Trump administration of bullying.

However, the situation has deteriorated significantly since then, both economically and politically, and last months saw warnings issued by China in the South China Sea after a USA naval aircraft was perceived to be getting too close to islands which China claims are within its territory.

Locked in an intensifying trade war, both Washington and Beijing have targeted one another with hundreds of billions of dollars in punitive trade tariffs. "In China, they are debating how they can respond and there are hawks who say, 'we have to strike back'".

All of this comes as other longstanding issues, such as the South China Sea and the Korean Peninsula, continue to weigh heavily on the relationship between the United States and China, two major powers with national interests often in conflict with one another.

The move comes at at a tense time - China and the U.S. now are embroiled in a trade war, and U.S. President Donald Trump accused China Wednesday of trying to meddle in U.S. elections.

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China has claimed large swathes of the strategic waterway and built up a series of islands and maritime features, turning them into military facilities.

Tensions, however, extend well beyond economic exchanges and into military ties.

A Pentagon spokesman, Army Lt. Col. Dave Eastburn, said China informed the Pentagon that the chief of the Chinese navy has been recalled to Beijing, canceling a planned meeting with his American Navy counterpart at the Pentagon after visiting a naval conference at Newport, Rhode Island.

Mattis said he did not think there was a fundamental shift in relations between China and the United States.

Both decisions follow a decision by Mr Trump's administration to impose sanctions on a Chinese state military company with links to the People's Liberation Army, in reprisal for buying weapons from Russian Federation, namely Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 surface-to-air missiles. Those purchases violated a 2017 law meant to punish the Russian government for interfering in US elections and other activities.

Emphasising that Taiwan is "an inalienable part of China's territory", Geng said the Chinese government was determined to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity and oppose any foreign inteference.

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