On his first trip to the Asia-Pacific region as secretary of state, Rex Tillerson visited China March 18–19.
Tillerson, the top diplomat of the United States, met with China’s President Xi Jinping, State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi to discuss “the way forward in forging a constructive and results-oriented relationship between the United States and China.”
Wang said “discussions between China and the United States will keep going, and this is and will be an important aspect of China-U.S. cooperation.”
Trade and investment were high on the agenda, as China is the United States’ second-largest trading partner and the United States is seeking to broaden and enhance its economic engagement in the Asia-Pacific region.
Sec. Tillerson: Look forward to spirit of cooperation between our two countries & opportunities of mutual interest. https://t.co/jQCGgK1IrM pic.twitter.com/qH9GRLfDH6
— Department of State (@StateDept) March 18, 2017
“The United States and China are the world’s two largest economies, and we must both promote stability and growth. Our two countries should have a positive trading relationship that is fair and pays dividends both ways,” Tillerson said.
As part of this trip, Tilllerson visited Japan on March 15 and South Korea on March 17. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis visited the Asia-Pacific region earlier this year in his first trip abroad in his new role, signifying the importance of the region to the United States.