US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to visit 3 Asian countries

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson began his first trip for Asia Wednesday. He will go first to Japan, onto South Korea and then on a two day visit to China.

The trip comes at a time of heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula over the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear tests, and the U.S. deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) ballistic missile system just south of Seoul.

CGTN’s Nathan King reports.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to visit 3 Asian countries

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to visit 3 Asian countries

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson began his first trip for Asia Wednesday. He will go first to Japan, onto South Korea and then on a two day visit to China. CGTN's Nathan King reports.
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Tillerson doesn’t yet have a staff, a deputy or even key parts of U.S. Asia policy, including those on the DPRK. They are still under review. Even so, he is heading to the region to try and reassure allies. He also hopes to forge some sort of consensus with China on the best way forward in dealing with the DPRK threat.

Recent ballistic missile firings and a fifth nuclear test by the DPRK are raising tensions. The United States’ deployment of the THAAD and the deployment of U.S. drones are also causing issues.

In a bid to reduce these tensions, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi suggested a freeze in U.S. and South Korean military exercises in return for a freeze on weapons testing by the North. That was rejected by Washington, as it defended the decision to deploy THAAD as requested by their South Korean ally.

Tillerson will also meet with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi  and hold separate meetings with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.

“We are pursuing a results-orientated relationship with China. One that benefits the American people and one that remains faithful to our allies and pressures China to abide by international rules,” Susan Thornton of the U.S. State Department said.

Washington analysts have said that ‘results-based’ means the U.S. wants to see quicker movement from Beijing on some key issues.

“A results-based relationship really encapsulates President Trump’s approach to dealing with this bi-lateral relationship. Trump has talked about how he wants the trade deficit for example dealt with and he wants results,” Bonnie Glaser of the China Power Project at Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said.

What may well be decided is the date for a first face-to-face meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump. An announcement about a meeting in the U.S. could come out as early as next month.


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To get the full scope of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s first visit to China, CGTN’s Asieh Namdar spoke with Senior Adviser on Asia-Pacific Security at CSIS, Andrew Shearer.


Douglas Paal on Tillerson’s plans for Asia trip

For more on what U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hopes to accomplish during his trip to Asia, CGTN’s Elaine Reyes spoke to Douglas Paal. He is the vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.