China says preparatory work for Xi Jinping-Donald Trump meeting has begun

A Chinese policeman guards the plane carrying US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Mr Tillerson on March 19, 2017, ended his first trip to Asia since taking office, with an agreement to work together with China.
A Chinese policeman guards the plane carrying US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Mr Tillerson on March 19, 2017, ended his first trip to Asia since taking office, with an agreement to work together with China.PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Preparatory work for a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and United States President Donald Trump has begun, China's Foreign Ministry said on Monday (March 20), after a weekend visit to Beijing by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

With warm words from Mr Xi, Mr Tillerson on Sunday ended his first trip to Asia since taking office, with an agreement to work together with China on North Korea and putting aside trickier issues.

The two sides appeared to have made some progress or put aside differences on difficult issues, at least in advance of a planned summit between Mr Xi and Mr Trump, which could happen in April in the US.

 

"On this visit to China by Secretary of State Tillerson, both sides had a deep discussion on arranging a meeting soon between the two heads of state and began relevant preparatory work," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said.

"Both sides agreed to remain in close touch about this, to ensure the smooth success and fruitfulness of exchanges between the heads of state and in other areas," she told a daily news briefing, without giving details or dates.