Tillerson, Yang meet in Washington

By Zhao Huanxin in Washington and Zhang Yunbi in Beijing | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-03-01 12:10

 Tillerson, Yang meet in Washington

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi meets with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday in Washington. Yin Bogu / Xinhua

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday reaffirmed the importance of a constructive bilateral relationship between the two countries and agreed to further develop ties.

During their meeting at the State Department, Yang said that in a phone conversation between President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump earlier this month, the two sides agreed to work together to achieve greater results in further developing China-US relations.

In line with the consensus reached by the two heads of state 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 in all areas, expand cooperation and coordination on regional and global issues, and respect each other's core interests and major concerns, Yang said, according to a statement from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The efforts will ensure sustained, steady and healthy development of China-US relations, to benefit the people of the two nations and the world as a whole, the top Chinese diplomat said.

Tillerson said that the two presidents have set a positive tone for the development of the bilateral relationship.

He said the US is willing to work with China, to look at bilateral relations from a broader perspective, and strengthen high-level dialogues and exchanges. In addition, the two sides would expand cooperation in various areas and deal with sensitive issues properly through consultation, according to the statement.

Thus, the two sides could ensure smooth development of bilateral ties and make a greater contribution to promoting regional and global peace and prosperity, said the statement.

In their meeting, Tillerson and Yang affirmed the importance of a constructive bilateral relationship and of regular high-level engagements between the US and China, according to acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner.

"The secretary and the state councilor discussed the importance of improving and maintaining a mutually beneficial economic relationship between the two largest economies in the world," Toner said. "They also discussed areas of mutual concern, including North Korea's nuclear programs."

Toner said Yang invited Tillerson to visit Beijing, and that Tillerson expressed interest in doing so in the near future.

Wu Xinbo, director of American studies at Fudan University, said it could be anticipated that President Xi and Trump are likely to meet later this year.

Yang met with Trump on Monday, the highest-ranking Chinese official to visit the White House since Trump took office. Yang also talked with Jared Kushner, senior adviser, Stephen Bannon, chief strategist, and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster on Monday.

Fan Jishe, a senior researcher in US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said such high-level contacts are a good channel for relaying China's concerns.

"Given the Obama administration's attempt to minimize China's 'friends circle' in the Asia-Pacific," Fan said, "Beijing's message is clear: The common ground of China and the US in the Asia-Pacific is larger than their differences."

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