Friday 17 November 2017

White House lays the groundwork for a closer relationship with China

US secretary of state Rex Tillerson meets Chinese president Xi Jinping Photo: REUTERS/Lintao Zhang/Pool
US secretary of state Rex Tillerson meets Chinese president Xi Jinping Photo: REUTERS/Lintao Zhang/Pool

Neil O'Connor

US secretary of state Rex Tillerson has brushed aside months of tension between Beijing and Washington by speaking of "greater understanding" between the two countries, hours after North Korea celebrated a "new birth" in its rocket industry.

Mr Tillerson said President Donald Trump was looking forward to meeting China's leader, Xi Jinping. Mr Trump places a "very high value on the communications" that he has already had with Mr Xi, Mr Tillerson said. "And he looks forward to enhancing that understanding in the opportunity for a visit in the future," he added.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Beijing and Washington had begun laying the groundwork for a meeting expected to take place in April at Mr Trump's Florida resort.

Mr Trump angered China's leaders by accepting a congratulatory call from the president of Taiwan in December. He also caused concern with abrasive tweets over Taiwan, North Korea, trade and Beijing's increasing military assertiveness in the South China Sea.

But tensions were eased last month when Mr Trump reaffirmed the US government's commitment to the One China policy, a recognition that there is only one Chinese government.

Telegraph.co.uk

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