Xi, Tillerson acknowledge differences between U.S., China

9 days ago | 20-03-2017 | ANI

Washington [USA], Mar. 20 : Chinese President Xi Jinping and visiting U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday agreed there are opportunities for greater cooperation between the two sides while acknowledging that there are, and will be in the future, differences between the two countries.

Tillerson met with President Xi Jinping for 30 minutes on Sunday at The Hall of the People in Beijing.

The two leaders discussed the progress in China-U.S. relations, according to statement from acting U.S. State Department spokesperson Mark Toner.

The statement said that Tillerson also conveyed that U.S. President Donald Trump is anticipating to soon meet with his Chinese counterpart for face-to-face discussions that will chart the course for future U.S.-China relations.

The meeting would be the first in-person meeting between Trump and Xi and would come amid heightened tensions in the region, particularly the increasing North Korean nuclear threat.

Earlier, Trump had accused Beijing for not helping with efforts to contain North Korea. China then said that its efforts and contributions for the same are internationally acknowledged, adding all sides should avoid actions that may result in escalation of tensions.

Territorial disputes in the South China Sea and China's continued building of man-made islands are also likely to be on the agenda.

The discussions between the two leaders are likely to be focused on security challenges and trade.

During the presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly railed against the trade imbalance between the U.S. and China.

He even promised to formally label China as a currency manipulator on his first day in office, but is yet to do so.