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US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis this week cancelled a scheduled trip to Beijing.

In the past two weeks, the USA and China have canceled several high-level military-to-military meetings meant to defuse tensions.

Pence will say the USA intelligence community has determined that China is targeting U.S. state and local governments and officials to exploit any divisions between federal and local levels on policy.

A Navy official confirmed to Stars and Stripes on Wednesday that the photos are legitimate, but said it is unknown how the website got access to the images, which were not publicly released.

"In one recent example, they threatened to deny a business license for a major USA corporation if it refused to speak out against our administration's policies", Pence will say.

Military exchanges between the countries, including port calls, were temporarily suspended following a mid-air collision between a U.S. EP-3 spy plane and Chinese fighter in 2001 off the south China coast that sparked a major diplomatic row. In past years, military ties have been somewhat stable but a series of events this year have roiled the waters.

Besides, US imposing sanctions on Chinese military unit and officials for buying Russian aircraft and Beijing's tit-for-tat move to cancel security talks with Washington have added fuel to the fire.

The bitter trade dispute between China and the U.S.is increasingly spilling into the military domain, with a risky incident in the South China Sea highlighting the dangers of souring relations.

Chinese vessels have approached U.S. Navy ships during previous freedom of navigation operation (FONOPs) in the South China Sea, but Sunday's encounter appears to the be the closest one yet.

Mesut Ozil backs by Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan
This followed a state dinner the night before that was boycotted by several opposition politicians. Since in mid-2016, arms sales from Germany to Turkey have fallen dramatically.

Such freedom-of-navigation operations have been somewhat routine near man-made reefs and islands that China has militarized in the South China Sea.

The Lanzhou, on the right, can be seen sailing within 40m of the U.S. ship.

China has built airstrips and artificial islands in the South China Sea, actions condemned by Defense Secretary James Mattis in Singapore in June.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence delivers a speech at the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) in Washington, U.S., August 24, 2018.

China's defense and foreign ministries each released statements Tuesday sharply criticizing the United States, though not disputing details of the US accusations involving the Decatur.

U.S. -China military relations have been strained before.

The Chinese destroyer is described by the U.S. Navy as a Luyang class.

The two governments will exchange views over their bilateral relationship and global and domestic issues concerning by both sides, it reported, without giving details. "There is a real risk of miscalculation", Heath said.

The Pentagon, headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, did not comment on the proposal by the US Navy's Pacific Fleet.