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China-US ties affected by some negative factors: Xi to Trump

China-US ties affected by some negative factors: Xi to Trump

But following the death of American student Otto Warmbier, who passed away soon after returning to the US following 17 months imprisoned for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster at a Pyongyang hotel, Trump tweeted: "While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out".

But Xi also warned that relations "have been affected by some negative factors".

The U.S. destroyer's cruise near Triton Island appeared to be especially grating to China.

The broadcaster did not identify specific issues discussed in the call.

In his call with Xi, "President Trump raised the growing threat posed by North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes", the White House said.

"They reaffirmed that the United States-Japan Alliance stands ready to defend and respond to any threat or action taken by North Korea", the White House said in a statement.

Trump is also said to have told the Chinese leader that he will seek more balanced trade relations with the U.S.' trading partners.

It is unclear whether any of those issues will come up in discussions at the G20 summit in Germany this week at which Mr Trump and Mr Xi are expected to hold a bilateral meeting.

Last week, China's foreign ministry protested to the US over a planned sale of $1.42 billion in military weapons to Taiwan.

China's military vowed Monday to step up air and sea patrols after an American warship sailed near a disputed island in the South China Sea in what Beijing called a "serious political and military provocation". Shore-based missiles make it unsafe for the U.S. Navy to enter the Taiwan Strait in a crisis. On June 29, the Trump administration approved a $1.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan and blacklisted a small Chinese bank over its business ties with North Korea.

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Another issue causing tension between Washington and Beijing is Chinese expansion in the South China Sea.

"The Chinese side strongly urges the USA side to immediately stop such kind of provocative operations that violate China's sovereignty and threaten China's security", Lu Kang, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, said on Sunday. The operations are meant to challenge Chinese territorial claims in the area.

The latest move to anger China came on Sunday, when the USS Stethem destroyer sailed a little over 22km from tiny Triton Island in the Paracel Islands archipelago, which is claimed by China as well as Taiwan and Vietnam, a United States officialsaid.

Beijing claims nearly the entire south China sea, and administers several islands in the area.

US, South Korean and Japanese officials say it flew for about 40 minutes and reached an altitude of 2,500 kilometres, which would be longer and higher than any similar North Korean test previously reported.

In Beijing, China's foreign ministry urged North Korea "to stop taking actions that violate United Nations Security Council resolutions".

China is suspected by Washington of seeking to establish by force its demands by building military facilities in the archipelagos of Paracels and Spratleys.

US officials said the Stethem was carrying out a regular "right of innocent passage" exercise. In May, a USA destroyer sailed well within 12 miles of Mischief Reef, a man-made island in the Spratly Islands to the south of the Paracels.

Trump intensified the pressure on China by making a phone call earlier on Sunday to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.