China, US aim to build productive military-to-military relationship

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday urged Chinese officials to apply greater diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea to force it to rein in its nuclear weapons program.

Earlier this week, Susan Thornton, acting assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, told reporters that a top priority in this week's talks will be about ramping up pressure on North Korea so as to change Pyongyang's calculus over its nuclear and missile programs.

China is willing to coordinate with the USA on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue in order to diffuse tension and push for resolution of the matter, Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi has said. The dialogue was one of four high-level mechanisms announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his USA counterpart Donald Trump during their first meeting in Florida in April.

"While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out".

"We should seek Chinese assistance, but I think it's a mistake to think that China is going to solve the problem for us".

Speaking of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Trump said the U.S. looks forward to strengthening cooperation with China to achieve the peninsula's denuclearization at an early date.

"Countries around the world and in the U.N. Security Council are joining in this effort, and we hope China will do their part as well", he said.

Tillerson's remarks came after he and US Secretary of Defense James Mattis met with the Chinese visitors at the US Department of State, where the former general said he saw scope for a better defense relationship.

US and Chinese diplomats and defense chiefs are meeting later Wednesday in Washington for security talks.

Tillerson stressed the need to choke off funding sources including money laundering, labor export and computer hacking. Washington has considered further "secondary sanctions" against Chinese banks and other firms doing business with North Korea. ".The two leaders [President Trump and President Xi] seem very simpatico on this". The tweet puzzled even Trump's own aides.

American concern is growing over North Korea's acceleration toward having a nuclear missile that can strike the USA mainland. The project, if successful, will massively boost China's economy and may easily surpass the economy of the United States. But it was unclear if Pyongyang was preparing for a sixth nuclear test.

  • Leroy Wright