published: 2017-03-24 04:55:47 (19 Mar 2017) US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday as part of his first face-to-face talks with Chinese leaders. Talks are expected to focus on North Korea’s nuclear programme, trade and South China Sea territorial disputes, as well as improving bilateral relations between the two countries. In a meeting held in front of the media, Tillerson said the US is looking forward to a first-ever meeting between Xi and President Donald Trump, saying the latter “places a very high value” on his communications with the Chinese president thus far. Tillerson said Trump looked forward to “the opportunity of a visit in the future,” an apparent reference to unconfirmed reports of plans for Trump and Xi to meet in Florida next month. Tillerson has struck a cordial tone during his meetings in Beijing – the last stop in a tour of Asia that also included visits to Japan and South Korea.
His trip has been dominated by concerns over North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons programme.