U.S. and China to Further Strengthen Two-Way Ties

Chinese president Xi Jinping and USA secretary of state Rex Tillerson on Sunday pledged to work to strengthen a relationship strained by disputes over North Korea and trade.

Pyongyang's main newspaper on Sunday denounced the United States for its hostile North Korean policy, the country's state-run media said, as the top US diplomat is carrying out his first Asian trip amid heightening tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

While the U.S. State Department said Tillerson's visit was focused on efforts to get China to do more to rein in its ally North Korea, a second goal was to lay the groundwork for a possible Xi visit in April to Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

The test coincided with Mr Tillerson's visit to Asia. Trump said in the tweet.

U.S. secretary of state visits China to strengthen ties, address N Korea's nuclear programme and discuss trade issues.

He said South Korea that U.S. military action against North Korea is an "option on the table", and warned the country to end its missile and nuclear programmes. -China relationship to the Trump era.

Xi's meeting with Tillerson followed North Korea's announcement yesterday that it had carried out a rocket engine test of "historical significance".

Tillerson said Trump placed a "very high value on the communications that have already occurred" with Xi.

The United States' top envoy brushed aside months of tension between Beijing and Washington at the end of his visits with high-level Chinese authorities, pledging tighter bilateral cooperation.

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Tillerson's public statements and those of officials he met including Xi and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi were dominated by the issue of North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons program. The ignition took place at the Tongchang-ri rocket launch station, near the North's border with China, according to North Korea media.

"I think we share a common view and a sense that tensions in the peninsula are quite high right now and that things have reached a rather risky level", Tillerson said after talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Huang Jing, from the National University of Singapore, said it was still too early for Beijing to hail Tillerson's references a victory because both sides appeared to differ on "the connotation of those components".

However, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's recent comments to the US Congress - taken as an indicator of the Trump administration's direction on China policy - strongly implied a doubling-down on treating US relations with Taiwan and China as separate, parallel tracks.

We hope this new United States initiative wlll bear fruit not only in the Sea of Japan, Yellow Sea, and East China Sea shared by China, Korea, and Japan, but also further south in the South China Sea.

In Tillerson's meeting with Xi, reporters were allowed to linger for opening remarks.

Undeterred by United Nations sanctions, Pyongyang has made no secret of its intense desire to acquire, test and use a nuclear arsenal as a bargaining chip against its perceived enemies, such as South Korea.

Christian rights lawyer Zhang Peihong, who has represented Christian activists in China, said he had not expected Tillerson to make a big deal about human rights.

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