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State councilor, US secretary of state reaffirm need for constructive ties

Zhao Huanxin/Mo Jingxi
Updated: Mar 2,2017 7:26 AM     China Daily

State Councilor Yang Jiechi is greeted by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the State Department in Washington, DC, on Feb 28.[Photo/Xinhua]

State Councilor Yang Jiechi and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reaffirmed on Feb 28 the importance of a constructive bilateral relationship between their two countries and agreed to further develop ties.

During their meeting at the US State Department in Washington, Yang said that in a phone conversation between President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump in February, 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 and expand cooperation and coordination on regional and global issues, Yang said, according to a foreign ministry news release.

He also said the two sides should respect each other’s core interests and major concerns.

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

Tillerson said the two presidents have set a positive tone for the development of their ties.

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, he said the two sides will expand cooperation in various areas and deal with sensitive issues through consultation, according to the news release.

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 US 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 the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, according to Toner.

He said China invited Tillerson to visit Beijing, and the US diplomat expressed interest in doing so in the near future.

Li Haidong, a professor of US studies at China Foreign Affairs University, said the interaction between top diplomats from the two countries could create a favorable environment for a possible meeting between President Xi and Trump.

“It also helps to ensure the stable development of China-US relations at a time when Trump adjusts Washington’s foreign policy early in his presidency,” Li said.