U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets Chinese president Xi Jinping

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Sunday (March 19) that President Donald Trump looked forward to enhancing bilateral relations and also to the opportunity for a visit in the future.

Xi said he was glad to see good progress from Tillerson’s meetings in China so far, which included meetings with Foreign Minister Wang Yi and State Counsellor Yang Jiechi on Saturday (March 18). Xi said that both he and Trump expect a new stage of constructive development in bilateral relations.

There was no mention of contentious issues like North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs or self-ruled Taiwan, which China claims as its own, in the meeting which was held at the Great Hall of the People.

North Korea conducted a test of a new high-thrust engine at its Tongchang-ri rocket launch facility and leader Kim Jong Un said the successful test was “a new birth” of its rocket industry, Pyongyang’s official media said on Sunday.

Washington wants China, the North’s neighbor and main trading partner, to use its influence to rein in the weapons program.