Top diplomats of Beijing and Washington agreed on Thursday to find ways to effectively resolve their trade and economic problems, in addition to conducting the second round of the four cabinet-level dialogues between China and the US this year.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and visiting State Councilor Yang Jiechi said the two countries will expand cooperation and handle their differences on the basis of mutual respect, to push for positive progress in bilateral relations.
Yang was on a two-day visit to Washington that began on Thursday. His meeting with Tillerson came at a time when the two countries are experiencing a series of challenges since the end of last year, following steady progress in bilateral ties in most of 2017.
The first national security strategy put forth by the Trump administration in December listed China, along with Russia, as a major “competitor” seeking to alter a status quo that favors the United States, an approach that was picked up in the ensuing National Defense Strategy, released a month later.
That was followed by a stricter tone toward Beijing, including a recent decision to impose steep tariffs on imported solar products and washing machines, a move that China called an “abuse” of trade remedies. Yang said that as proved by facts, the bilateral trade and economic relations are mutually beneficial, which have brought tremendous benefits to both peoples.
The two sides should follow through the consensus and outcomes achieved by the two presidents during their November summit meeting in Beijing, and commit to expanding trade, military, law enforcement, counternarcotics and subnational exchanges and cooperation, Yang said, according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry.
The two countries should ramp up coordination and communication in key international and regional issues, including the Korean Peninsula nuclear crisis, Yang sai and properly manage their differences and sensitive issues to ensure bilateral relations yield more positive outcomes, Yang said.
Both sides should open up each other’s markets and handle diff erences appropriately to guarantee the healthy development of bilateral trade and economic ties, he said.
Also in their talks, Yang made clear China’s stance on issues such as Taiwan, requesting the US side take China’s position seriously. Tillerson said the US remains committed to the one-China policy, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry statement.
US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Tillerson and Yang “agreed on the importance of continuing a constructive and productive relationship aimed at cooperation on mutual challenges and addressing our differences forthrightly”.
“During the meeting, both sides reaffirmed President Trump and President Xi’s commitment to keep up pressure on North Korea’s illegal nuclear weapons and missile programs,” Nauert told a news briefing.
Yang said the international community should support the inter-Korean rapport and help maintain the tensioneasing momentum on the peninsula, according to the Foreign Ministry statement.
In addition, the two sides agreed to conduct the second round of Diplomatic and Security Dialogue during the first half of 2018. The rest of the dialogues in the fourpronged
dialogue mechanism – economy, social and cultural exchange, law enforcement and cybersecurity – also will be held within the year, according to the statement.