Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. July 1, 2017 (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)
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The US and Chinese presidents spoke Monday in a scheduled call hours after relations came under renewed pressure as an American warship sailed near a disputed island in the South China Sea.Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping discussed efforts to denuclearise North Korea and improve US-Chinese trade relations, though the ship's passage was not mentioned in a White House readout of the conversation.Relations between the two nations had been warmer since Trump and Xi met in April, but Washington has taken a series of actions that have infuriated Beijing in recent days.It was the second operation of its kind carried out by the United States since Trump took office.Last week, China lashed out at Washington after Trump authorised a $1.3 billion arms sale to Taiwan, which China considers a rebel province, and the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on a Chinese bank accused of laundering North Korean cash.
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