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Trump hopes to meet Xi soon to ‘Chart the Course for Future US-China Relations’

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US President Donald Trump hopes to have a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in near future, US Department of State Acting Spokesperson Mark Toner said Sunday.

Tillerson arrived on Saturday in Beijing with an official visit to discuss with top officials a wide array of issues, including the development of bilateral trade relations, a territorial spat over the South China Sea and the situation on the Korean Peninsula amid North Korea’s ballistic missile tests and the deployment of elements of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile system in South Korea.

“Secretary Tillerson also conveyed that President Trump is anticipating the two will soon be able to meet face-to-face for discussions that will chart the course for future US-China relations,” Toner said following the meeting between State Secretary Rex Tillerson and President Xi.

The spokesperson added that the state secretary and Chinese leader both agreed that there were opportunities for greater cooperation between the two countries.

Earlier, he visited South Korea, where he said, in particular, that the United States’ strategic patience with North Korea has ended, and warned that “all options are on the table” in dealing with Pyongyang, including a military intervention.

On March 8, components for the THAAD system began to arrive in South Korea as Seoul wanted the system to be deployed rapidly in response to the threat from North Korea’s ballistic missile tests.

Seoul and Washington first agreed to deploy THAAD in July 2016. The system is designed to intercept short, medium and intermediate ballistic missiles during the terminal incoming stage.

The move prompted strong criticism from Beijing, which enacted economic policies in protest. China’s retaliation resulted in the temporary suspension of tour package sales to South Koreans.

Earlier in March, US media reported that Trump was intending to host Xi at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida on April 6-7. (PNA/Sputnik)