Tillerson in China — Prepare for the Next 50 Years

Secretary Rex Tillerson is in China, meeting with Foreign Minister Wang Yi and State Council Member Yang Jiechi Saturday, and President Xi Jinping Sunday. In an interview with Independent Journal Review‘s Erin McPike, Tillerson took what could be described as a “Chinese” view of things: “I do think that the Chinese and the U.S. need to have a fresh conversation about what will define the relationship between the United States and China for the next 50 years. We can look back and see how successful we’ve been, 40 years of what I would say has been a very successful relationship with two very powerful nations living with one another without conflict. But now we find that there are issues arising that have gone unresolved. And I think, how we are able to talk about those and how we are able to chart our course forward is going to set, potentially, the relationship in a new era of existing together without conflict, in an era of non-conflict.”

The meeting with Wang Yi reflected this. They spoke for two hours, in part on the North Korea issue. Unlike the war-mongering press coverage in the West about “all options on the table” and “no talks now,” Tillerson said after their meeting that the two sides agree that we must “bring North Korea to a different place, where we are hopeful we can begin a dialogue.”

In his interview, Tillerson also said: “Our objective is to have the regime in North Korea come to a conclusion that the reasons that they have felt they have had to develop nuclear weapons, those reasons are not well-founded. We want to change that understanding …, we do not intend to be a threat to you.” Only close U.S.-China cooperation could convince Pyongyang that this were true.

On Xi Jinping meeting with Trump, Tillerson said: “The overall China-U.S. relationship really needs better clarity that can only be achieved by a meeting between our two leaders — a face to face meeting — and some time for them to be together and some time for us to exchange views in a number of these areas, whether economic or security or cultural and people-to-people.”

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