Correspondent, EU foreign affairs and NATO
David's Feed
May 22, 2015

China says U.S. South China Sea actions ‘irresponsible, dangerous’

BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China said on Friday it was “strongly dissatisfied” after a U.S. spy plane flew over part of the South China Sea this week near where China is building artificial islands, and called on the United States to stop such action or risk causing an accident.

The U.S. flight on Wednesday was highlighted by the unusual Pentagon decision to invite a CNN team aboard the Poseidon surveillance plane. It said the Chinese navy issued eight warnings to the aircraft to move away from the contested territory.

May 21, 2015

U.S. vows to continue patrols after China warns spy plane

WASHINGTON, May 21 (Reuters) – The United States vowed on
Thursday to keep up air and sea patrols in international waters
after the Chinese navy repeatedly warned a U.S. surveillance
plane to leave the airspace over artificial islands China is
creating in the disputed South China Sea.

The Chinese navy issued eight warnings to the crew of a U.S.
P8-A Poseidon, the U.S. military’s most advanced surveillance
aircraft, when it conducted the overflights on Wednesday,
according to CNN, which was aboard the U.S. aircraft.

May 19, 2015

Only U.S. rivals win if Congress blocks Asia trade pact: Kerry

SEATTLE (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday made an impassioned plea to Congress to pass fast-track legislation needed for a 12-nation Pacific trade agreement, saying that failure to do so would benefit U.S. rivals.

Prospects for sealing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) cleared a crucial test in the U.S. Senate last Thursday, when the chamber resoundingly agreed to consider the legislation, which would grant President Barack Obama the Trade Promotion Authority needed to speed an agreement through Congress.

May 18, 2015

Kerry says U.S., China discussing further sanctions on North Korea

SEOUL (Reuters) – The United States and China are discussing further sanctions on North Korea as it has “not even come close” to taking steps to rein in its nuclear weapons program, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday.

Speaking in the South Korean capital, Kerry said Washington had offered the isolated North the chance for an improved relationship in return for signs of a genuine willingness to end its nuclear program.

May 17, 2015

Despite tension, Xi says U.S.-China relations are stable

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s relations with the United States remain stable, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Sunday, as he sought to defuse tension over a territorial dispute in the South China Sea that has pitted Washington against Beijing.

“I look forward to continuing to develop this relationship with President Obama and to bring China-U.S. relations to a new height along a track of a new model of major country relationship,” Xi told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the end of Kerry’s two-day trip to China.

May 16, 2015

U.S., China clash over disputed South China Sea

BEIJING, May 16 (Reuters) – The United States and China
clashed over a territorial dispute in the South China Sea on
Saturday, as China’s foreign minister asserted its sovereignty
to reclaim reefs saying its determination to protect its
interests is “as hard as a rock”.

After a private meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John
Kerry, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi showed no sign of
backing down despite Kerry urging China to take action to reduce
tension in the South China Sea.

May 13, 2015

Kerry to take tough approach in China over South China Sea

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.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.

Setting the scene for possibly contentious encounters with Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping, the official said Kerry would warn that China’s large scale land-reclamation work in contested waters could have negative consequences for regional stability – and for relations with the United States.

May 13, 2015

U.S.’ Kerry to take tough approach in China over South China Sea

WASHINGTON, May 13 (Reuters) – U.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.

Setting the scene for possibly contentious encounters with
Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping, the official
said Kerry would warn that China’s large scale land-reclamation
work in contested waters could have negative consequences for
regional stability – and for relations with the United States.

May 13, 2015

Pentagon mulls sending planes, ships near disputed South China Sea islands

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon is considering sending U.S. military aircraft and ships to assert freedom of navigation around rapidly growing Chinese-made artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea, a U.S. official said on Tuesday.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter requested options that include sending U.S. military ships and aircraft within 12 nautical miles (22 km) of reefs that China has been building up in the disputed Spratly Islands, the official said.

May 11, 2015

Kerry, China leaders to meet in Beijing, May 16-17

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State John Kerry will meet senior Chinese leaders in Beijing this weekend at a time of heightened concerns in Asia and Washington over China’s pursuit of maritime claims and shared worries about North Korea.

Kerry will be the most senior U.S. official to visit China since many U.S. allies rushed to embrace a new China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which some see as a challenge to U.S. leadership of the global financial system.

    • About David

      "David Brunnstrom is Reuters U.S. Asia Policy Correspondent, based in Washington DC. Before moving to Washington in 2012, he reported from all over Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and parts of Asia as EU and NATO correspondent based in Brussels. Before that, he spent nearly 20 years in Asia for Reuters, with postings in Bangkok, Seoul, Tokyo, Hanoi, Islamabad and Kabul."
    • Follow David