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A trade deal signed this week by the United States and China has been the focus of a lot of media coverage. Most stories in the United States emphasize the purchases of U.S. agricultural and other products that China will make. But in the Asia Pacific, there’s a slightly different tone.

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

WASHINGTON — Reigniting a debate over who has the power to declare war, the Democratic-controlled House on Thursday approved a resolution asserting that President Donald Trump must seek approval from Congress before engaging in further military action against Iran.

Vincent Thian/AP

While news from Washington has been dominated in recent days by the impeachment hearings, there is other activity as well — and some of it is even bi-partisan. That includes a pair of bills passed this week concerning Hong Kong.

Senior Airman Dana Hill / U.S. Air Force

Talks about payment for U.S. forces in South Korea broke down this week. Government teams from the two countries remain far apart on a deal that expires in about six weeks — and the negotiations are drawing attention elsewhere in the region.

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

The government of Chile has cancelled plans to host a pair of international meetings scheduled for November and December, because of continuing violent demonstrations. UN officials are scrambling to re-set a climate change conference scheduled for December. But next month’s regional trade meeting known as APEC may be cancelled — and that will have ripple effects.

USDA photo by Lance Cheung

China and the United States resume trade discussion tomorrow in Washington. While the talks focus on economics, they’re also influenced by politics.

Senior Airman Dana Hill / U.S. Air Force

Talks are underway between the United States and South Korea about sharing costs for U.S. forces based on the Korean peninsula. This is part of a longer story.

Evan Vucci/AP

President Trump says the United States and Japan have reached what he calls the “first stage of a phenomenal new trade agreement.” But the full details are a little less clear.

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U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators are scheduled to resume talks next month. Late last week, China said it would loosen restrictions on some imports from the United States. And that includes one of the most important consumer products in China.

State Department photo/ Public Domain

The United States is expressing concern about the downward spiral in relations between two of its closest allies in the Asia Pacific. It’s been another week of disputes involving Japan and South Korea — and the concerns are stretching all the way to Hawaii.

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President Trump helped send stock markets sharply lower on Friday when he called on U.S. companies to consider alternatives to doing business in China. But unwinding the regional supply chain is not a simple matter.

COMSEVENTHFLT / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr

Yesterday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that Australia will contribute forces to the American-led effort to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz. Skirmishes between U.S. and Iranian forces and the Iranian seizure of a British-flagged tanker have escalated tensions in the strategic waterway, which is used to transport about a third of the world’s oil supplies. The decision comes as an Australian think tank raised serious doubts about Australia’s reliance on the U.S. to guarantee its security.

Staff Sgt. Cherie A. Thurlby / U.S. Air Force

Relations between the United States and China have been strained in recent weeks. There is the ongoing trade dispute, and tensions about protests in Hong Kong. Another factor that is developing: planned U.S. arms sales to Taiwan

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North Korean government media say last week’s launch of two short-range missiles was a warning to South Korea not to proceed with military exercises next month. But those actions are on track to continue — while the launches have drawn different reactions in Seoul and Washington.

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Stalled trade talks between the United States and China will resume next week in Shanghai. The Treasury Secretary and the U.S. Trade Representative are heading to China, but one group to watch back home are American farmers.

Spc. Christen Best / U.S. Army

Already strained relations between Washington and Beijing are about to hit a rough patch, Amid the on-going trade war, the Pentagon announced a $2.2 billion arms sale to Taiwan, and an even bigger weapons deal is expected later this summer.

Mark Herlihy / U.S. Air Force

President Trump is spending Memorial Day in Japan. He spent part of the day visiting U.S. forces there — a reminder of how many U.S. servicemen and women are spending this Memorial Day in the Asia Pacific.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Andy Dunaway

Two of America’s closest allies in the Western Pacific have challenged the facade of U.S. strategic policy. While American officials insist that the Indo-Pacific Strategy is not aimed at any individual country, the leaders of Palau and the Marshall Islands named China as the source of military and economic threats in the region.

D. Myles Cullen / Official White House Photos

President Trump is heading to Japan this week. He’s also going back next month for a meeting of regional leaders, but the trip starting later this week may have less policy substance than photo opportunities.

Ad Meskens / CC BY-SA 3.0 / Wikimedia Commons

Leaders of three Pacific Island countries are in Washington today to meet with President Donald Trump. Palau, the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia operate under Compacts of Free Association with the U.S.

John Pavelka / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

North Korea has demanded that the United States release a cargo ship seized for violation of United Nations sanctions. A statement from the North Korean foreign ministry described the seizure as a ‘blatant act of robbery” and a “gangster-like act.” The ship has been towed to American Samoa.

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While U.S. stocks are trading higher this morning, trade tensions with China remain a concern for world financial markets. And there are further complications in the Asia Pacific.

Chief Mass Communication Specialist Keith Deviney / U.S. Navy

USNI News reports that Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan will unveil a new Indo-Pacific Strategy at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore later this month.

Shealah Craighead / White House

The president of South Korea is coming to the White House this week. Moon Jae-in will in Washington for two days, and the focus will be on what comes next with North Korea.

PAC Tom Sperduto / U.S. Coast Guard

On Monday, a U.S. Navy Destroyer and a Coast Guard Cutter made a transit of the Taiwan Strait. That’s the fifth time in the past six months that American warships have made the controversial passage between Taiwan and mainland China, but the first time that the Coast Guard has been involved.

Martin Falbisoner / CC BY-SA 3.0 / Wikimedia Commons

Australia’s ABC reports that two senior members of the National Security Council made a rare visit to the Pacific last week, with stops in Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. The trip is seen as the latest sign that the United States plans to challenge China’s growing influence.

Nishant Vyas / Creative Commons / Pexels

The United States and China are still negotiating about trade. While businesses and markets wait for developments on that front, another trading partner in the region is facing a disruption.

Sonata(talk / Contributions) / Wikimedia Commons

Denny Tamaki, the governor of Okinawa, plans to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as soon as this Friday, to present him with the results of this past weekend’s referendum. 72-percent on Okinawa voted against a long-standing plan to relocate a U.S. Marine air base. The referendum is non-binding, but the decision to go ahead with construction may have repercussions.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Marc Castaneda / U.S. Navy

One of the world’s largest multinational military exercises has been underway for more than a week. It hasn’t captured many headlines in the United States, but American forces from across the Asia Pacific are taking part.

Matti Blume / Wikimedia Commons

There’s a trans-Pacific trade controversy that’s been building for years between the United States and one of its leading trade partners. This one has nothing to do with China, but it does affect a major American company — and shows that international trade rules don’t always keep up with market conditions.

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