China's actions in sea disputes straining U.S. ties - U.S. official

WASHINGTON Thu May 15, 2014 7:34pm EDT

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WASHINGTON May 15 (Reuters) - China's actions in maritime disputes with its neighbors in the South China Sea are straining U.S.-China relations and raise questions on whether Washington can work together with Beijing in Asia and on bilateral issues, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday.

Washington is in close contact with the Vietnamese government on "how most effectively to manage" Hanoi's standoff with Beijing after China towed an oil rig into seas claimed by both countries, the official told Reuters.

Vice President Joe Biden and other top U.S. officials told visiting Chinese General Fang Fenghui, chief of the general staff of China's army, that Beijing's behavior in the maritime disputes was "dangerous and provocative" and must stop, the official said. (Reporting By Matt Spetalnick and David Brunnstrom)

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