Top diplomats from China, US meet after DPRK sanctions vote

World Today

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, rights, and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi, left, shake hands during their meeting at the US State Department in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

China’s State Councilor Yang Jiechi arrived in Washington on Tuesday for a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. This comes a day after the United Nations Security Council passed the toughest yet round of sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

CGTN’s Jessica Stone has more.

Yang and Tillerson previously met last winter in Washington, and this spring in Beijing. The two last spoke just a month ago about U.S.-China relations and the path forward in Afghanistan.

According to a Chinese source, Beijing’s focus for today’s meeting is to plan President Trump’s upcoming state visit to China.

But the pair also meet just one day after Beijing and Washington worked together to pass a unanimous United Nations resolution imposing tougher sanctions on Pyongyang.

Beijing acknowledges implementation is key.

“China hopes that all parties will fully implement this UN Security Council resolution,” according to Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang. “I’ll say it again, blindly piling on sanctions cannot resolve the root of the problem on the Korean peninsula. Dialogue and consultation are the only way.”

Beijing continues to propose its freeze-freeze solution: a pause in Seoul-Washington military exercises, in exchange for Pyongyang ending its nuclear program.

Washington has said it can’t support that proposal, while it continues to lean on Beijing over the issue of implementation.

The U.S. continues to lean on China over the issue of implementation.

“We are certainly looking at every option to put more pressure on China,” Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Susan Thornton said at a congressional hearing today. “We are also using all of our global partners to speak up from their perspective and put pressure on China… because we do see China as the key to the solution of this problem.”

This likely explains the tough words from the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday: “If China doesn’t follow these sanctions, we will put additional sanctions on them and prevent them from accessing the U.S. and international dollar system, and that’s quite meaningful.”

A source also tells CGTN that State Councilor Yang will meet with the U.S. National Security Advisor tomorrow.