WASHINGTON — Even as the United States and China butt heads over trade, their top diplomats and defense chiefs will be meeting in Washington Friday, looking to tamp down tensions on other issues that have put a chill on relations between the two world powers.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will meet with their counterparts Yang Jiechi and Wei Fenghe at the State Department. The talks were due to be held in Beijing last month but were postponed after Washington announced new arms sales to Taiwan, and U.S. and Chinese vessels came close to colliding in the South China Sea.

Although the rescheduling of the U.S.-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue signals an effort by the two sides to contain the slide in the relationship, it’s something of a placeholder ahead of a planned meeting at the end of the month between President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping at a Group of 20 summit in Argentina.

That’s where the two leaders are likely to address the burgeoning trade dispute that’s already hurting constituencies in both nations and threatens to weigh on the wider global economy. Trump has slapped tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese products, in a push to narrow the U.S. trade deficit and push back against what the U.S. views as predatory Chinese tactics on the high technology industry. Beijing has retaliated with tariffs on $110 million worth of U.S. goods.

“We want this to be a constructive, results-orientated relationship with China,” U.S. Ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, told reporters on Thursday. “The United States is not trying to contain China, but we want fairness and reciprocity.”

He described Friday’s meeting as a chance for a “frank and open” exchange of views on issues like North Korea, human rights, and cooperation on Afghanistan and Iran, where the …read more

Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News


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