Chinese state councilor urges int'l support for inter-Korean rapport

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi called for global support for inter-Korean rapport and the continued easing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (R) meets with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi at the State Department in Washington, US, on February 8, 2018. 

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi called for global support for inter-Korean rapport and the continued easing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula during his meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington on Thursday.

China has always been committed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and maintaining its peace and stability, said Yang, adding that issues on the Korean Peninsula should be solved through dialogue and negotiation.

The situation on the peninsula is undergoing positive changes recently as South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) are using the PyeongChang Winter Olympics to restart dialogue.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is scheduled to have lunch Saturday with a high-ranking DPRK delegation, led by Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly.

Among the delegation is Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un. South Korea's presidential Blue House saw a visit by Kim Yo Jong as meaningful to ease tensions.

Despite tension easing on the Korean Peninsula, Washington has been sticking to a strategy of "maximum pressure" on the DPRK to force it to abandon its nuclear weapons programs, but so far has failed to achieve its goals.

The United States has imposed multiple rounds of sanctions on Pyongyang and launched a string of international events to engage other nations in the campaign.

Earlier this week, US Vice President Mike Pence even announced during his visit in Tokyo that Washington will slap fresh sanctions on the DPRK, which will be "the toughest and most aggressive."

Analysts say that Washington's moves could undermine joint efforts to seek a resolution on the nuclear issue.

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi met with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the State Department in Washington on Thursday to discuss bilateral ties and issues of mutual concern.

Before their meeting, Yang told reporters he was confident that he will "have very good discussions with" Tillerson, which will help push forward the "very important" bilateral relations.

"We've had many, many good discussions," said Tillerson, referring to his talks with Yang before.

"And we are going to continue these very important discussions about US-China relations," the top US diplomat added.

While announcing Yang's US visit on Tuesday, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that both China and the United States have expressed willingness to maintain and further strengthen contacts and exchanges in various aspects.

Yang has come at the invitation of Tillerson, according to the spokesperson.

After witnessing a year of steady development, boosted by successful face-to-face meetings and frequent phone conversations between top leaders of both countries, the China-US relations are facing certain challenges, marked by some worrisome moves from Washington since the end of 2017.

The first national security strategy put forth by the Trump administration in December listed China, along with Russia, as a major "competitor" and so-called "rival power" of the United States.

There were also reports that Washington is considering tough protectionist measures against China, one of the largest trade partners of the United States, to address the country's rising trade deficit, triggering widespread worries about a possible trade war that will have no winner at all.

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