Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is shaking hands during a meeting on March 19 in the Great Hall of People, Beijing. Photo: Xinhua
Chinese President Xi Jinping said cooperation is the only correct choice for China and the United States during a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Sunday in Beijing, according to the Xinhua News Agency.
There are currently important development opportunities for China-US relations, and common interests between the two countries are far more than divergences, said Xi during the meeting in the Great Hall of People.
President Donald Trump has so far been an unpredictable partner for China on issues like the South China Sea and bilateral trade relations. China has also been irritated by being repeatedly told by Washington to rein in North Korea’s nuclear program, and the US decision to deploy a missile defense system in South Korea.
During the meeting, President Xi said he has been maintaining good communication with President Trump through phone and letter, and they both believe China and the US could become “very good partners.”
The two countries should stick to this general direction of China-US relations and strengthen coordination and cooperation on hot regional issues, Xi said.
“The China-US relationship is important for both the two countries and the world, and we should grasp the direction of development of China-US relations with an attitude that is responsible to history and future generations,” he noted.
Xi also suggested that the two countries increase strategic trust and mutual understanding, review bilateral ties from long-term and strategic perspectives and expand fields of cooperation for win-win outcomes.
Tillerson replied that Trump places a “very high value” on the communication between Xi and Trump through the phone, and is looking forward to the meeting with Xi and an opportunity for a visit to China.
The U.S. side is ready to develop relations with China based on the principle of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, said Tillerson.
It is Tillerson's first visit to China since he assumed office last month. State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held separate meetings with Tillerson on Saturday.