China's actions in sea disputes straining US ties - US official

WASHINGTON - China's actions in maritime disputes with its neighbours in the South China Sea are straining US-China relations and raise questions on whether Washington can work together with Beijing in Asia and on bilateral issues, a senior US official said on Thursday.

Washington is in close contact with the Vietnamese government on "how most effectively to manage" Hanoi's standoff with Beijing after China towed an oil rig into seas claimed by both countries, the official told Reuters.

Vice President Joe Biden and other top US officials told visiting Chinese General Fang Fenghui, chief of the general staff of China's army, that Beijing's behaviour in the maritime disputes was "dangerous and provocative" and must stop, the official said.