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Trump meets key Chinese official

By Zhao Huanxin in Washington and Zhang yunbi in Beijing | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-02-28 12:15

US President Donald Trump on Monday held his first meeting with a senior Chinese official since his inauguration, saying he highly valued the importance of cooperative relations with China, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Trump met with China's top diplomat, State Councilor Yang Jiechi at the White House, and told Yang that the US attaches great importance to cooperative relations with China, according to a press release from the ministry.

Yang conveyed greetings from Chinese President Xi Jinping to Trump, who expressed his gratitude, and asked Yang to return his greetings to his Chinese counterpart, according to the release.

Yang, who is in the US for a two-day visit, said the phone call between Xi and Trump earlier this month was of great significance because it charted the course for the next phase in the development of Sino-US relations.

"In line with the spirit of the phone conversation, and following the principles of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, China is willing to ramp up exchanges with the US at high and various levels, expand cooperation and coordination in wide-ranging bilateral areas and on major regional and global issues and respect each other's core interests and major concerns," Yang said, according to the release.

China is ready to work with the US to advance China-US relations in a steady and healthy fashion, and to deliver more benefits to the people of the two nations and the world at large, Yang said.

Trump said he was glad to have the very important phone conversation with Xi, and the US side highly regards the importance of cooperative relations with China, according to the release.

The president said that China and the US need to strengthen high-level contacts, enhance collaboration in various fields and increase cooperation and coordination in international affairs, the release said.

Wang Dong, associate professor of international relations at Peking University and secretary general of think tank Pangoal Institution, noted that Yang's talk with Trump is the fourth key contact between Beijing and Washington in February, coming after the phone talk between Xi and Trump, Yang's call with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Foreign Minister Wang Yi's meeting with Tillerson.

Yang's trip is of great significance as the new security and foreign policy team of Trump has just taken shape, Wang said. "This shows Beijing's proactive gesture to build contact with the new team and help shape China-US ties," Wang said.

Yang's meeting with Trump can help prevent Washington from any miscalculation on critical issues, including the US deployment of the THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea, Wang added.

Vice-President Mike Pence and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, attended the meeting.

Yang also exchanged ideas on Sino-US relations and other issues with Kushner, White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

Yang is expected to meet US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday.

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(China Daily USA 02/28/2017 page1)

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