BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pledged in talks on Sunday to work to strengthen a relationship strained by disputes over North Korea and trade.
Xi met Tillerson in Beijing just hours after nuclear-armed North Korea tested the US-China relationship anew by announcing a provocative rocket engine trial, and with delicate negotiations under way for a Xi summit with President Donald Trump.
Xi told Tillerson that he and Trump had resolved in a phone call last month “to make joint efforts to advance China-US cooperation, and we believe that we can make sure the relationship will move ahead in a constructive fashion in the new era.” “I’m confident that as long as we can do this the relationship can surely move in the right direction,” Xi said.
En route to Beijing, Tillerson visited US allies Japan and South Korea where he declared Washington would drop the “failed” approach of “strategic patience” with Pyongyang — adding that US military action against the North was possible.
Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2017