China’s Wang Yi meets US Secretary of State Pompeo in Washington

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China's Wang Yi meets US Secretary of State Pompeo in Washington Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, accompanied by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, speaks at a news conference at the State Department, Wednesday, May 23, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

China said the U.S. decision to withdraw the invitation to Beijing to participate in the world’s largest naval exercises next month is “very unconstructive.” Beijing has participated in the Rim of the Pacific exercises twice before, but the U.S. Defense Department rescinded the offer to participate due to what it calls China’s militarization of the South China Sea. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi criticized the move while on a trip to Washington to visit his U.S. counterpart Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

CGTN’s Nathan King has the report.

Every two years, the U.S. Pacific Command hosts navies from dozens of countries. In 2014 and 2016, China was invited and conducted exercises alongside the U.S. and many other nations. It has built relationships and understanding. The decision to pull Beijing’s invite came as China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi was in Washington.

“The Pentagon’s decision or dis-invitation of Chinese military in the RIMPAC exercise, we find that as a very unconstructive move,” said Wang Yi in Washington.

Foreign Minister Wang and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also talked about the planned summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea leader Kim Jong Un, scheduled to take place in less than three weeks.

Pompeo expressed hope the summit will take place but doubts remain.

“”We’re still working, driving towards the date, hope that it takes place,” said Pompeo.

Wang Yi said the U.S. must take Pyongyang’s security guarantees into account.

“We believe that in achieving the process or the goal of denuclearization it is necessary to address the legitimate security concerns of the DPRK,” said Wang. “And I told our U.S. colleagues that if you want to solve the problem, now is the time. If you want peace, now is the time. If you want to make history, now is the time.”

Trade was also discussed ahead of U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s visit to Beijing next week- no details on any potential deal were given.

And both diplomats addressed the strange case of a U.S. government employee based in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, reportedly suffering a brain injury after hearing abnormal sounds. The U.S State Department said it’s similar to cases reported in Havana, Cuba more than a year ago. Both nations said they are investigating.

Despite the growing tensions in the China U.S. relationship, the U.S. secretary of state described the conversations with Wang Yi as “wonderful.” While that may be diplomatic license, Pompeo did stress how helpful China has been in trying to get the U.S.-DPRK summit on the right track. However, on many other issues from trade to tensions in the Pacific, the U.S. and China are still far apart.


David Morey talks about the strained relations between China and the U.S.

CGTN’s Mike Walter talks with international political consultant David Morey about the the U.S. decision to disinvite China to RIMPAC military exercises, and the prospects of a summit between the U.S. and the DPRK.