China talks focusing on North Korean threat

USA and Chinese diplomats and defense chiefs have begun talks in Washington that are expected to focus on the nuclear and missile threat from North Korea.

When asked about reports in the U.S. on Tuesday about China's invitation to Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner to visit the country, Geng said he was not aware of any details, although he stressed: "China and the United States have been in close touch at all levels". Fang Fenghui (FAHNG FENG-wuee).

Geng's remarks came as Moon Chung-in, special security adviser to the president of the Republic of Korea (ROK), who was speaking to reporters in Washington last week, said Seoul and Washington may consider scaling back their joint military exercises in exchange for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) freezing its nuclear and missile development program.

"We have talked about our position many times". Both support denuclearization and UN Security Council resolutions to try to increase pressure on the North Korean regime to get it to change its attitude.

The Chinese spokesperson said that in recent years "China has stepped up its efforts to promote peace talks" on the Korean peninsula.

President Trump has been increasingly looking to China to exert its influence in the region as North Korea works to create a nuclear missile that could reach American soil.

FILE - In this March 16, 2016, file photo, American student Otto Warmbier, center, is escorted at the Supreme Court in Pyongyang, North Korea. It was also unclear how Trump's comment would be interpreted by the Chinese delegation during the day-long dialogue on Wednesday.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the USA is considering travel restrictions.

Huang Jing, of the National University of Singapore, said that as China's global clout has grown over the years, Beijing's security interests have expanded markedly to cover regions beyond Asia-Pacific, and especially as it pushes its ambitious Belt and Road trade and infrastructure initiative.

The dialogue was established under a broader framework that arose in April during President Donald Trump's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The officials also will discuss counterterrorism as well as tensions in the South China Sea. Thornton said it was a "high-priority issue" that no one wants to see an increase in tensions or in militarization.

  • Leroy Wright