Tillerson in Beijing
by Stephen Lendman
Ahead of Tillerson’s visit, Trump bashed North Korea unjustifiably, saying it’s “behaving badly,” ignoring US high crimes, adding “China has done little to help.”
Beijing and Moscow strongly object to Washington’s deployment of THAAD missile systems in South Korea, aimed at the DPRK and their countries, threatening their national security, giving the Pentagon first-strike capability – why they’re being installed, not for defensive purposes as claimed.
Tillerson met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Saturday, more talks scheduled for Sunday.
Major issues discussed included North Korea, bilateral trade, disagreement of sovereign Beijing South China Sea territorial waters, and provocative installation of THAAD missiles.
Tillerson expressed a “sense of urgency” to curb Korean peninsula tensions. Wang urged Washington to remain “coolheaded.” US aggressiveness against Pyongyang affects China’s security.
During a press conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, Tillerson said “(w)hile we acknowledge China’s opposition, its economic retaliation against South Korea is inappropriate and troubling. We ask China to refrain from such actions.”
He blamed a nonexistent DPRK threat as justification for installing THAAD missiles. They’re designed to intercept short, medium and intermediate ballistic missiles during their terminal stage.
In response, Beijing suspended tour package sales to South Koreans. It’s boycotting some of the country’s products.
Tillerson came to pressure China to support America’s regional agenda. Beijing wants peace, stability and good relations, but not at the expense of compromising its sovereign rights.
On Saturday, both sides agreed on containing Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missiles programs.
China wants things settled diplomatically. Tillerson wants a new approach. Everything is on the table, he said, before arriving in Beijing, including political, economic and military measures.
China’s Foreign Ministry called on all sides to end “a vicious cycle that could spin out of control.” Pyongyang justifiably fears Washington is preparing a “preemptive strike.”
Bilateral US/China trade issues are contentious. Trump calls Beijing a currency manipulator. He threatened to impose tariffs on Chinese goods.
Wang and Tillerson agreed to improve communications between both governments, stressing principles of non-confrontation.
Wang said his counterpart’s visit was an important step in preparing for an April Xi/Trump summit in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, tentatively scheduled for April 6 and 7.
Both leaders spoke by phone in late January. Next month, they’ll meet for the first time.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.