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China-US meeting sets stage for talks on critical issues

Chen Weihua
Updated: Jun 23,2017 7:31 AM     China Daily

China and the United States concluded a constructive high-level dialogue in Washington on June 21, according to the Chinese delegation at the inaugural China-US Diplomatic and Security Dialogue.

State Councilor Yang Jiechi, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis co-hosted the meeting at the US State Department.

General Fang Fenghui, chief of the People’s Liberation Army’s Joint Staff Department, was among the attendees.

Yang said the successful meeting between President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in April had charted the course for China-US relations in a new period, adding that under the consensus of the two leaders, the bilateral relations have made positive progress.

He called on both sides to maintain the positive direction to further enhance the relationship.

The two sides agreed to attempt to expand mutually beneficial cooperation and manage and control their differences based on the principle of mutual respect.

Both sides hope to push relations forward onto a long-term and healthy development path, according to a news release from the Chinese delegation.

The two governments agreed on the importance of maintaining frequent high-level exchanges. They said that with the joint efforts by both sides, the meeting between Xi and Trump at the G20 Summit in July in Hamburg, Germany, will achieve positive results, and Trump’s state visit to China later this year, at the invitation of Xi, will be a success.

They also expect a successful inaugural Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity Dialogue, and Social and Cultural Issues Dialogue this year. These dialogues, along with the dialogue on June 21, form the new China-US Comprehensive Dialogue mechanism agreed to at Mar-a-Lago.

The Chinese delegation said the two sides should have a correct view of each other’s strategic intention. China’s strategic intention is clear, the news release said: It is to defend its own sovereignty, security and development interests.

The US side said it has recognized China’s rapid and sustainable development and has no intention to contain or weaken China. Rather, it is willing to strengthen cooperation with China to develop a long-term and constructive relationship.

The US delegation also said both countries should promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region by strengthening dialogue and cooperation.

The Chinese officials spoke positively of the generally stable development of the military-to-military relationship. They called on both sides to elevate the relationship for more constructive, practical and effective cooperation.

Both sides also agreed that the defense chiefs of the two countries should exchange visits as soon as possible. In addition, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff also should visit China.

The Chinese side has stressed its principle on issues relating to Taiwan and Tibet and the importance for the US side to keep its promise and properly handle both issues.

The Chinese delegation reiterated its stance on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula by maintaining peace and stability through talks and negotiations. China urged all sides to implement relevant UN Security Council resolutions and push for an early resumption of talks.

The Chinese side called for a serious consideration of China’s “dual track” and “dual suspension” proposals. The “dual suspension” calls for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to suspend its nuclear activities and for the US and Republic of Korea side to suspend their large-scale military drills.

China has continued to urge a halt and cancellation of the deployment of the US THAAD missile defense system in the Republic of Korea.

The Chinese side reiterated the country’s undisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their surrounding waters.

China and US delegates also exchanged views on counterterrorism, Afghanistan and the Middle East.