Vice President Mike Pence said on Friday that the South China Sea did not belong to any one nation, and the United States would continue to sail and fly wherever worldwide law allowed, comments sure to rile China, which claims the strategic sea route.
Some people in the White House described Pence as a loyal supporter of the president, and Pence himself has made clear in public statements that he is committed to Trump and his agenda.
"I can't imagine any President having a better or closer relationship with their Vice President then the two of us", he tweeted.
"He is 100 per cent loyal".
Separately, Pence said he was "tempted not to dignify [the Times' story] with a comment", according to a pool report sent to reporters early Saturday morning.
The article, published Friday, reported that Trump has repeatedly asked aides and advisers about Pence's loyalty to the point that it has "alarmed" advisers.
Mike Pence announced the Indo-Pacific Transparency Initiative, a good government programme that he said would be backed by $400 in United States funding. It was a phony story. a typical New York Times phony story.
The President also said Pence's loyalty has been tested in many ways, and he couldn't be happier with his pick for Vice President.More news: Disc-less Xbox One sku coming in spring 2019 - rumor
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The New York Times reported Trump may be questioning Pence's loyalty before the general election, but Trump shot the accusation down.
Xi called on the U.S. to try to resolve issues through consultation based on the principle of "equality", warning the USA against escalating tensions and potential damage to global trade.
But Trump dismissed the story, calling it "fake news".
Representative to the APEC leaders' summit Morris Chang (張忠謀) interacted with US Vice President Mike Pence and other leaders attending the annual event, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
"Just look at the stand that President Trump has taken on our trading relationship with China", he stated.
He said the United States was working to improve relations with Beijing, and pointed to Trump's upcoming meeting with Xi as an opportunity for progress.
Chang and Pence held a brief meeting on the sidelines of the APEC CEO summit, the ministry said.