In a rare bright spot for strained Sino-U.S. relations, the U.S. Coast Guard has confirmed that it conducted joint operations in the Pacific with its Chinese counterpart this summer, part of annual patrols to deter illegal fishing.

In a statement to The Japan Times, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said the USCG Mellon "rendezvoused and conducted a professional exchange" with two China Coast Guard ships.

"The exchange focused on professional goodwill between coast guards," U.S. Coast Guard District 17 spokesman Lt. Brian Dykens said.