Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for talks this week as each country accuses the other of escalating military tensions in the western Pacific.

The Washington sit-down will be the first since China parked missiles on Woody Island in the disputed South China Sea, and since the U.S. announced it would hold talks about deploying a missile defense system in South Korea as a deterrent to North Korea.

With the countries trading barbs the expectations for the talks are low — Kerry said last week "there is evidence every day that there has been an increase of militarization of one kind or another." China argues its expansion in the South China Sea is the natural behavior of a regional power while the U.S., the major military presence in Asia since the end of World War II, says China is using its economic and military clout to dominate smaller neighbors.