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China uses Pompeo meeting to lash out in front of him and reporters

U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, along with U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad and Senior Bureau Official W. Patrick Murphy, meets with Chinese Politburo Member Yang Jiechi in Beijing, China on October 8, 2018. (U.S. Department of State/Released)
October 08, 2018

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with his Chinese counterpart on Monday, though the meeting did not end on a positive note.

Pompeo’s meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi resulted in a spat between the two nations as China criticized the U.S. over trade tariffs, which it said has affected mutual trust, Asia Times reported Monday.

Ahead of the meeting, Pompeo told Wang that the U.S. has a “fundamental disagreement” and “great concerns” over China’s actions and was eager to discuss them. Reporters were removed from the room shortly after.

“While the U.S. side has constantly escalated trade frictions with China, it has also taken actions regarding Taiwan that harm China’s core interests,” Wang said before the meeting, according to the Associated Press.

The two officials’ remarks before reporters indicated that the meeting was not successful in solving issues between them.

“These actions have affected the mutual trust between both sides, and has cast a shadow over the prospect of China-US relations, which completely go against the interest of our two peoples,” Wang told reporters at a press conference.

“We require that the US stop such misguided actions,” he said, noting that the two should strive for cooperation “and not descend into conflict and confrontation.”

Yang Jiechi, a senior Cabinet official, also told Pompeo that relations between the two nations were “facing challenges” and they needed to “make the correct choices.”

“We hope the United States and China can meet each other halfway and conscientiously fulfill the important consensus reached by the leaders of both countries,” Yang said.

Pompeo also brought up the recent cancellation of the meeting that was supposed to take place between Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Wei Fenghe. An official who disclosed the meeting’s cancellation said, “The tension is escalating, and that could prove to be dangerous to both sides.”

“I regret that the strategic dialogue between our two countries is something you all chose not to undertake,” Pompeo said to Wang at the press conference.

“The strategic dialogue was not called off by the Chinese. I am stating a fact,” Wang asserted.

Despite the disagreements, the two sides did achieve cooperation on efforts toward North Korean denuclearization. Pompeo said they made “significant progress” on a plan to pressure Kim Jong Un to denuclearize.