China

John Kerry to Visit China

Secretary of State John Kerry (r.) shakes hands with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se at the State Department in Washington Tuesday.(Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

Secretary of State John Kerry (r.) shakes hands with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se at the State Department in Washington Tuesday.
(Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

US Secretary of State John Kerry will pay a visit to China on April 13 and 14 as the guest of Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the announcement at a Monday, April 8 press briefing.

It is also Kerry’s first trip to China since assuming his new responsibilities.

“During the visit, the two sides will exchange views on Sino-American relations, and on international and regional issues of common concern,” said Hong, according to Xinhua News Agency.

During Kerry’s visit, the two sides will exchange views on China-US relations, as well as international and regional issues of common concern, said Hong.

“China and the US are at a crucial juncture in terms of maintaining their relations,” Hong said to national media outlets. “China is ready to work with the US to fulfill the consensus reached by both leaders, increase strategic mutual trust, deepen pragmatic cooperation and manage disparities.”

After sending nuclear-capable B-52s to the skies and antimissile ships to the waters around the Korean Peninsula, as well as missile-defense batteries to Alaska and Guam, the Obama administration is now moving to ratchet down the tensions, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

“While recent US actions have shored up the concerns of our allies and moved to protect the US from potential attack, now is the time for reinforcing as well the diplomatic and economic measures that will stifle North Korean behavior and force a reset on their part,” said George Lopez, a former United Nations sanctions monitor on the North Korea case, to the Christian Science Monitor.

Taiwanese activists have urged Kerry to press Beijing for a better deal for Taipei, as well, states Taipei Times. They are asking him to be “proactive and creative” in US support for Taiwan.

Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) president Mark Kao in a letter also asked Kerry to abandon Washington’s “outdated ‘one China’” policy. The policy has left Taiwan “dangling in an increasingly isolated international position,” he said.

The US Department of State did not comment on the letter on Monday, but a source confirmed to Taipei Times that Taiwan was likely to be raised during Kerry’s talks with the Chinese leadership.

The State Department this week acknowledged the key role China will play in any diplomatic effort on North Korea, with spokeswoman Victoria Nuland singling out China as the country with “the most leverage” on Pyongyang, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

Kerry began his 10- day tour to the Middle East, Europe and North East Asia on Sunday. Besides China, Kerry will also visit South Korea and Japan.

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