Niceties in Beijing as Tillerson concludes trip

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March 20 (ANI): 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.

China insisted Thursday its latest proposal - for North Korea to suspend nuclear and missile activities in return for the United States and South Korea halting the military exercises - was the "only feasible plan" available.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Rex Tillerson, the U.S. secretary of state, have held talks in Beijing and sent out a message that they would work to strengthen ties between their countries.

Mr Tillerson and Mr Wang both tried to strike a positive tone, repeating the mantra that US-China relations were founded on the principles of avoiding conflict and confrontation, and promoting mutual respect and "win-win cooperation".

En route to Beijing, Tillerson visited US allies Japan and South Korea where he declared Washington would drop the "failed" approach of strategic patience diplomacy with Pyongyang - a sharp break with China, which favors careful diplomacy over heated rhetoric.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the test was successful and that "the world will soon witness the great significance of the epoch-making victory" that Pyongyang has achieved.

The comments from Mr Tillerson were more moderate than his warning a day earlier in South Korea that "all options are on the table" to deal with North Korea, and that the USA would take military action if needed. The two sides appeared to have made some progress or put aside differences on hard issues, at least in advance of a planned summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Xi also invited Trump to visit China, according to a Chinese foreign ministry statement.

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Trump said in a tweet on Friday that North Korea was "behaving very badly" and accused China, Pyongyang's neighbour and only major ally, of doing little to resolve the crisis.

While agreeing that tension on the Korean peninsula is high, the United States and China still differ on how to deal with North Korea.

Mr Xi added that he had spoken to the United States president several times.

Former US secretary of defense William Cohen said that Tillerson's visit to China was important for both sides. China has said that the radar in the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence system is a direct threat to Beijing.

"I'm confident that as long as we can do this the relationship can surely move in the right direction", Xi said.

But despite the failure of previous talks, and North Korea's inability to keep previous promises, China insists that dialogue remains the only option.

However, he soothed ruffled feathers to some degree in February by agreeing to honour the so-called "One China" policy, which states that there is only one Chinese government.