China has sent a delegation to the United States for a joint maritime exercise to assess the situation in the South China sea and discuss the US-China-Vietnam cooperation, a White House official said Tuesday.
The official said the two sides also discussed the situation of the Scarborough Shoal and a maritime security framework, as well as the issue of a new round of talks between the United Nations and the Philippines on the South and East China Seas.
The United States and China have clashed repeatedly over the South East Asian waters, with Washington accusing Beijing of using militarized patrols in disputed waters.
The Philippines is also embroiled in territorial disputes with China.
“China and the United State have worked together to address issues of common interest, such as maritime security, freedom of navigation, freedom from exploitation, and maritime law and order,” White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement.
The U.S. and China signed a maritime treaty in 2013, but it has been a source of friction, particularly in recent years, over disputes over territorial waters in the East China Sea.
Last year, a Chinese-led military court found the United Nation had violated the treaty when it ruled in June that China’s Scarborough Shoale is part of China.
The ruling was appealed by the Philippines and the case was later sent to arbitration.