China’s top diplomat will soon be in the United States (US) on the first official visit to the country since President Donald Trump took office, amid signs of strain in ties over trade relations and growing tension in east Asia. State Councillor Yang Jiechi will be in Washington for two days beginning Monday. He will exchange views with senior Trump administration officials on bilateral ties and issues of common concern, said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang. Yang, the top diplomat in Chinese political hierarchy who has served as ambassador to Washington, is the first senior official from China to visit the US since Trump took office on January 20. And it comes after Trump agreed to “honour” the ‘One China’ policy, which considers Taiwan part of China, during a telephonic conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping on February 10, retracting from his previous public stance that he would negotiate the policy. The future of US-China ties remain uncertain after Trump accused the world’s second-largest economy of cheating at trade and repeatedly called it a “currency manipulator”. Trump has also slammed China over its assertive moves in the disputed South China Sea (SCS), where Beijing has built islands that can potentially be used for military purposes.
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Newsline: China’s top diplomat on first official US visit in Donald Trump era