China fears instability if North Korean government falls

Mr Tillerson further said that there's no need for China to punish South Korea for aiming its U.S. anti-missile defence system at North Korea.

Washington took on a more aggressive stance following the rocket engine test, with some pundits suggesting a military option. Before Tillerson arrived in Beijing on Saturday, Trump said North Korea was "behaving very badly" and accused China of doing little to resolve the crisis over the North's weapons programmes.

"What China wants to see is that, rather than get at each other's throat, both China and the U.S. further increase their exports to each other, eventually reaching about $1 trillion".

"We renewed our determination to work together to convince North Korea to choose a better path and a different future for its people", he said.

"You said that China-U.S. relations can only be friendly".

"Since the historic opening of relations between our two countries more than 40 years ago, the U.S".

Xi told Tillerson that China considered his meetings on Saturday with Wang and Yang to have been productive and constructive.

"We share a common view and a sense that tensions on the peninsula are quite high and that things have reached a rather risky level", he added during a press conference with China's foreign minister.

Wang Dong, a North Korea expert at Peking University, said it was wrong to think Beijing can control the unpredictable and head-strong Pyongyang.

Tillerson said during his visit to South Korea days earlier that "if they [North Korea] elevate the threat of their weapons program" to an unacceptable level, then the United States may be forced to take preemptive action.

Tillerson is on his first trip to Asia as Trump's top diplomat, making stops in Japan, South Korea and China.

The two sides exchanged views on the current situation on the Korean Peninsula and other issues of common concern.

Tillerson and Xi were meeting in Beijing's Great Hall of the People at the end of Tillerson's first visit to China after taking office last month.

The Chinese foreign minister said the two countries will find a way to seek peaceful settlement through diplomatic means. "I express my appreciation for this", he said.

U.S. President Donald Trump had fanned the hopes of some in Taiwan while angering Beijing's leaders in December by accepting a congratulatory call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.

"North Korea not only threatens its regional neighbors but the United States and other countries", Tillerson said.

Wang said the "suspension for suspension" proposal "can help us break out of the security dilemma and bring the parties back to the negotiating table".

The Trump administration is crafting a big new arms package for Taiwan that could include advanced rocket systems and anti-ship missiles to defend against China, U.S. officials said, a deal sure to anger Beijing.

  • Leroy Wright