US tries to use better China ties to press North Korea

WASHINGTON: Washington will host Wednesday two of China’s top officials to deepen dialogue among the world’s great powers and test Beijing’s willingness to turn its head towards North Korea.
The administration of President Donald Trump has had mixed results in its efforts to shake US foreign policy, but authorities believe they have made incursions with China that could prove productive.
In April, Trump welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping to his Mar-a-Lago resort, launching his harsh comments about Beijing and announcing the beginning of a “very good relationship.”
Last month, Beijing and Washington signed a limited agreement to open new markets for the other’s exports and a lifelong friend of Chinese leaders, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad was confirmed as ambassador.
But tensions remain – notably the construction of Chinese artificial islands in the disputed waters of the South China Sea – and the White House very much wants Beijing to oppose the North Korean regime isolated from Kim Jong-un.
On Wednesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will welcome State Councilor Yang Jiechi and General Fang Fenghui, the Chinese Army’s chief of staff, the State Department.
Susan Thornton, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said that this first edition of the new “diplomatic and security dialogue of China and China” would focus on North Korea.
“We continue to urge China to exert its unique influence as a major trading partner of North Korea, including full implementation of all UN Security Council sanctions,” he said, referring to efforts to halt Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
Despite international condemnation and sanctions, North Korea has built a small nuclear arsenal and development of ballistic missiles capable of nucleation that could threaten Japan, South Korea and – one day – even some US cities.
Washington has deployed some 28,000 troops in South Korea and a naval navy in the region, but has a limited diplomatic and economic leverage effect on Kim.
Last week, what initially seemed a gesture of goodwill on the part of Pyongyang – the release of a detained American tourist – became bitter when it was revealed that Otto Warmbier, 22, had suffered brain damage and coma Some time.
Warmbier died Monday after returning to his hometown in Ohio.
The White House Trump stopped the nuclear threat as one of the top foreign policy priorities, leaving aside concerns about China’s trade imbalance with the United States to seek the help of Beijing Kim’s face.
But while China has tightened controls over North Korea’s coal trade, many experts say it is unwilling to meet sanctions that could threaten the stability of its unpredictable neighbor.
“Our goal, as I said, is the urgent threat posed by North Korea, and is expected to enter the time,” Thornton said.
“We do not expect that we will solve the problem on Wednesday, but we hope that some of the other issues we address, such as confidence-building measures between the military and military, are making progress.”

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