U.S.-China Relations: Ensuring Enduring Ties for the Future

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Secretary Tillerson listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago, April 7, 2017.
Secretary Tillerson listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago, April 7, 2017.

U.S.-China Relations: Ensuring Enduring Ties for the Future

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson traveled to Mar-a-Lago in Florida to join President Donald J. Trump for meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping on April 6-7. At the outset of the visit, Secretary Tillerson underscored the importance of the United States’ relationship with China and our commitment ensuring the ties between our nations endure for the future.

Secretary Tillerson said, “In the past 40 years, the United States and China have developed deep ties, and this administration is committed to ensuring these ties endure for the next 40 years. We do desire to establish policies that maintain a constructive, cooperative, and results-oriented trajectory.”

The Secretary underscored that the United States will pursue economic engagement with China that prioritizes the economic well-being of the American people noting, “The chief goal of our trade policies is the prosperity of the American worker. To that end, we will pursue economic engagement with China that prioritizes the economic well-being of the American people.”

Secretary Tillerson also discussed foreign policy areas on which the United States is looking to make progress with China, that serve our interest as well as the region’s. For example, on North Korea, the Secretary commented, “we’re hopeful that China will find ways to exercise influence over North Korea’s actions to dismantle their nuclear weapons and their missile technology programs. Whether it’s using their authority on the UN Security Council or utilizing new levers of power, China can be part of a new strategy to end North Korea’s reckless behavior and ensure security, stability, and economic prosperity in Northeast Asia.”

The Secretary outlined areas for partnership in the region as well as challenges in the relationship between the United States and China. Secretary Tillerson said, “Yet even as we share a desire to work together, and the United States does recognize the challenges China can present to American interest, we renew our strong commitments to our allies in Asia and around the world who have been valuable partners in preserving shared values and security interest. Similarly, the United States will protect our citizens and our institutions against cyber attacks. On other areas of disagreement, such as human rights and religious freedom, the United States will be firm in representing our core democratic values and advocating for the right of all people to live in freedom.”

As he concluded his statement, Secretary Tillerson reaffirmed the United States' commitment to working with China on our shared goals. He stated, “The Trump administration remains dedicated to working with China toward mutual goals of respect, security, and prosperity. As we do so, we will not shy away from frank discussions which are necessary to narrow our differences.”

Editor's Note: This entry is also published on Medium.com/StateDept.

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