US, China committed to solving difficult issues

US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Joseph Dunford with China's People's Liberation Army Joint Staff Department chief, General Fang Fenghui, yesterday.
US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Joseph Dunford with China's People's Liberation Army Joint Staff Department chief, General Fang Fenghui, yesterday.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

BEIJING • There are many difficult issues between the United States and China but both share a commitment to work through them, a US top general has said during a visit to Beijing amid tension over nuclear-armed North Korea.

"I think we have to be honest. We have many, many difficult issues where we don't necessarily share the same perspective," General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told General Fang Fenghui, chief of the Joint Staff Department of the People's Liberation Army yesterday.

"We share a commitment to work through these difficult issues," he added, without elaborating.

Gen Fang said China attached great importance to his visit and had arranged for him to observe a military exercise.

In a later statement, China's Defence Ministry said the two discussed North Korea, Taiwan and the South China Sea, and signed a framework agreement on a China-US military dialogue mechanism, though it gave no details.

China has been angered by US freedom of navigation patrols near Chinese-controlled islands in the disputed South China Sea. Meanwhile, the US has expressed concern about what it calls "unsafe intercepts" of US aircraft by the Chinese air force.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 16, 2017, with the headline 'US, China committed to solving difficult issues'. Print Edition | Subscribe