2015-05-13T140250Z_1_LYNXMPEB4C0Q8_RTROPTP_2_CHINA-USA

Kerry to tell China U.S. committed to free South China Sea movement

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks with U.S. State Secretary John Kerry, through a translator, during a lunch banquet in the Great Hall of the People in BeijingU.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will leave China “in absolutely no doubt” about Washington’s commitment to freedom of navigation and flight in the South China Sea when he visits Beijing this weekend, a senior State Department official said on Wednesday. Kerry will also tell Chinese leaders that China’s large scale land-reclamation work in pursuit of territorial claims in the South China Sea could have negative consequences for regional stability and relations with the United States, the official told reporters. The official spoke a day after a U.S. official said the Pentagon was considering sending U.S. military aircraft and ships to assert freedom of navigation around rapidly growing Chinese-made artificial islands in disputed South China Sea. China’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that Beijing was “extremely concerned” and demanded that the U.S. issued a clarification of the remarks.

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