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Chinese foreign ministry stated today that this country will work with U.S. for positive results during the first diplomatic and security dialogue.

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis will co-chair the dialogue, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said at a daily press briefing on Friday.

Some observers have said that North Korea's nuclear brinkmanship poses an immediate threat to both China and the USA in the absence of an effective, long-term mechanism to address their often conflicting interests over security-related issues.

The US is trying to create a "global echo chamber" where all countries get behind the United Nations Security Council resolutions that address North Korea's illicit weapons programmes, she said.

"Specifically, we are going to give the DPRK/North Korea issue top priority", Ms Susan Thornton, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific affairs, told reporters on Monday.

China could be expected to further toughen its sanctions against Kim Jong-un's regime, following its decision in April to halt its coal imports - one of North Korea's major sources of income. "China is willing to work with the U.S. and other concerned parties to maintain communications and cooperation".

Trump tweeted on the eve of the security dialogue that, "While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi and China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out".

Trade and investment are also due to take a high profile following President Donald Trump's repeated complaints about the US trade deficit with China, which hit $310 billion a year ago, by far the largest imbalance with any country.

Geng said China remains committed to banishing nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula and working with the US and others on restarting talks over the issue.

The U.S. said it will also raise the issue of the South China Sea, and will seek a closer relationship with China when it comes to handling terrorism and issues of cross-border crime and cyberspace.

"China hopes relevant parties will respect the efforts made by regional countries to resolve disputes via consultation and contribute more to regional peace and stability", said Geng.

Earlier this month, Beijing said it was "gravely concerned" about a claim by ISIS to have killed two Chinese teachers in Balochistan province in Pakistan, where China is working with Islamabad on a US$55 billion (S$76 billion) infrastructure project.

  • Leroy Wright