BEIJING – President Xi Jinping met with visiting US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Saturday, discussing US President Donald Trump’s state visit to China later this year.
“Currently the most important event in our bilateral relations is President Trump’s China visit in November,” Xi said. “His visit will be a major opportunity for the development of China-US relations.”
Xi said China-US ties have been generally stable, and that he has maintained sound communication with President Trump.
Chinese and US teams should implement consensus reached by the two heads of state, grasp the direction of bilateral relationship, respect each other, and focus on cooperation while dealing with differences properly, Xi said.
“China attaches great importance to President Trump’s visit, and I look forward to working with him to outline and advance our bilateral relations in the years to come,” Xi said.
He said the teams on both sides should work closely to make the visit “successful and special.”
China and the US are respectively the largest developing country and the largest developed one as well as two leading economies of the world, Xi said, stressing both sides need to and can cooperate on the bilateral, regional and global levels.
“The common interests of our two countries far exceed our differences, and cooperation is the only correct choice,” Xi said.
The two sides should expand mutually beneficial cooperation and strengthen communication and coordination on major international and regional issues, he said.
Xi called on the two sides to handle their differences and sensitive issues through dialogue and consultation, on the basis of respecting each other’s core interests and major concerns, so as to maintain stability of bilateral relations.
The two sides should continue to encourage and expand people-to-people exchanges and strengthen friendship between the people of the two countries, he said.
Tillerson conveyed Trump’s greetings to Xi, saying the US president looks forward to his visit to China.
Hailing the progress in US-China relations under the auspices of the two presidents, Tillerson said the United States values its relations with China and hopes to increase mutual trust and practical cooperation in various areas as well as to jointly tackle international and regional challenges.
Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi also met with Tillerson Saturday, stressing cooperation in economy and trade, military, law enforcement and people-to-people exchanges.
Yang hoped the two sides would work together to inaugurate the first law enforcement and cyber security dialogue, and follow up on the already-convened first diplomatic and security dialogue, comprehensive economic dialogue as well as social and people-to-people dialogue.
Yang said both sides need to properly manage their differences and communicate and cooperate more on major international and regional issues to keep the positive momentum of bilateral ties.
Yang and Tillerson also exchanged views on the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with Tillerson earlier Saturday.
Wang expounded China’s stance on issues including the Taiwan issue, and urged the United States to earnestly respect China’s concerns and to deal with these issues properly to avoid disturbance to bilateral relations.
Tillerson reaffirmed that the United States maintains the one-China policy.
Wang and Tillerson also discussed issues including the Korean Peninsula situation and Afghanistan.