China’s top diplomat begins two-day US visit

Beijing , Feb 27 (IANS) China’s top diplomat Yang Jeichi on Monday started a two-day visit to the US with which Beijing’s relations have come under strain after the election of President Donald Trump.

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi was invited by the US government, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

Yang’s visit comes at time when ties between China and the US have been hit by several issues like the South China Sea and Taiwan.

However, Trump , who initially challenged Beijing’s claim over Taiwan, telephoned his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, assuring that the US would adhere to the ‘One China policy.’

Yang will exchange views with senior US officials on bilateral ties and issues of common concern, Lu said.

Yang is the first senior Chinese official to visit the US since Trump took office on January 20, Xinhua said.

Yang will have an extensive range of topics to discuss with the US officials but the foremost would be to reaffirm the tone of bilateral relations set by the two heads of state in their telephonic conversation, said Jia Xiudong of the China Institute of International Studies.

Yang’s visit will coincide with the 45th anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s ice-breaking visit to China in 1972, which paved the way for Beijing and Washington to officially establish diplomatic ties in 1979.

Despite twists and turns over the past four decades, China-US relations have progressed ahead as both the Republican and Democratic parties understand the importance of the relationship, Jia said.

During Yang’s tour, China and US will have exchanges on trade, security and international issues, on which Trump may take policies different from the Obama administration, according to Jia.

The Xi-Trump meeting will be on top agenda of Yang and US officials, who are to discuss when and where the two heads of state will meet.

The nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, climate change, energy and Syria are also possible to be on the agenda, Jia said.

–IANS

gsh/mr

Top