A U.S. guided-missile destroyer sailed near disputed islands in the South China Sea in what China called a “provocation” as U.S. officials joined talks in Beijing during a truce in a bitter trade war. The USS McCampbell carried out a “freedom of navigation” operation, sailing within 12 nautical miles of the Paracel Island chain, “to challenge excessive maritime claims”, Pacific Fleet spokeswoman Rachel McMarr said in an emailed statement. The statement came as trade talks between China and the United States were under way in Beijing, the first round of face-to-face discussions since both sides agreed to a 90-day truce in a trade war that has roiled international markets.
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