Published: Sun, June 25, 2017
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

China, US officials to meet for Diplomatic and Strategic Dialogue


President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Chinese efforts to persuade North Korea to rein in its nuclear programme have failed, ratcheting up the rhetoric over the death of an American student who had been detained by Pyongyang. "At least I know China tried!"

American concern is growing over North Korea's acceleration toward having a nuclear missile that can strike the US mainland.

Mr. Trump had made clear earlier that his preference was to work with China on North Korea, but that he was willing to go after them alone.

In a White House meeting with visiting Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko, Trump criticized the way Warmbier's case was handled in the year since his arrest, appearing to assail both North Korea and his predecessor, U.S. President Barack Obama.

Mattis was speaking alongside Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after the two met Chinese officials to discuss North Korea and other regional issues, including China's continued military build up in the South China Sea.

The United States seeks a constructive and results-oriented relationship with China in which differences are managed when they arise, Mattis said. "We have worked continuously on North Korea sanctions".

The State Department says the dialogue will focus on ways to increase pressure on North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programs, but also cover such areas as counter-terrorism and territorial rivalries in the strategic South China Sea.

He paid tribute to tragic Warmbier, 22, who died after being returned to the United States by North Korea in a coma.

Yang reiterated China's position on the issue, and said China hopes to continue to maintain communication and collaboration with all related parties, including the US, to make joint efforts to ease tension in the peninsula and solve the issue properly. China had taken significant steps to tighten trade with the North, they said, and the United States had, as always, not given sanctions enough time to take effect.

"I have great confidence that China will properly deal with North Korea".

The talks are meant to build on progress made when President Donald Trump met China's president in Florida in April.

The consensus document also highlighted the need to fully and strictly hold to U.N. Security Council resolutions and push for dialogue and negotiation, which has always been China's position on the issue.

Teng Jianqun, director of American Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, said such talks show that both sides are inclined to be "more practical and forthright" in handling specific challenges to their delicate, and sometimes tumultuous ties.

"The two sides reaffirm the importance of building mutual understanding, and of reducing the risk of miscalculation between our two militaries", said the statement.

In regard to the THAAD missile defense system, China also said it had "reiterated its opposition to the United States deploying the system in South Korea and asked for the deployment to be suspended and the system withdrawn".

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