The US guided-missile destroyer McCampbell sailed near the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea as officials of both the countries kicked off their first face-to-face talks here to resolve the trade dispute during which the world's top two economies have imposed import duties on more than Dollars 300 billion of each other's goods.
"I think there's a very good chance that we will get a reasonable settlement that China can live with, that we can live with and that addresses all of the key issues", Ross said Monday in an interview with the American cable TV network CNBC.
Some analysts say that China - Pyongyang's key diplomatic ally and main source of trade - could use Kim's visit as a bargaining chip in the United States trade talks.
U.S. Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney, center, who is part of U.S. trade delegation leaves from a hotel for a second day of meetings with Chinese officials in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Kim's visit and the trade talks were "two separate matters".
Beijing confirmed the sail-by, calling it a violation of China's sovereignty which has damaged "peace, safety and order" in the South China Sea.
The operation came as Chinese and USA officials kicked off talks in Beijing to find a solution to a bitter trade war that prompted the two sides to impose tariffs past year on more than $300 billion in total two-way trade.
China's Commerce Ministry said ahead of the meeting that it would last only two days. "China has the good faith, on the basis of mutual respect and equality, to resolve the bilateral trade frictions".
Trump has imposed 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese good and 10 percent duties on $200 billion of imports.
While the hosts indicated the talks would run Monday and Tuesday, the editor-in-chief of the Chinese state-run Global Times newspaper said in a tweet the discussions could continue Wednesday.
"China's ability to use (North Korea) as leverage has diminished considerably since Trump opened his own channel to Kim", she said.
Ministry spokesman Lu said Monday during a routine briefing that Chinese military aircraft and naval vessels were dispatched to identify the US vessel and warn it to leave the area near disputed islands in the South China Sea.
Even so, Lu said, "China's development has ample tenacity and huge potential". And to me those are immediate trade.
Another photo shows a wider view of dozens of officials from each country seated at three long tables facing each other and around the room's borders, significantly more people than those attending previous rounds of U.S.
Economists will also be digesting new trade data from Germany, following a worrying drop in industrial output yesterday.
The U.S. delegation includes under secretaries from the U.S. departments of agriculture, commerce, energy and treasury, as well as senior officials from the White House. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has consistently stressed the latter, emphasizing the importance of binding enforcement mechanisms.