Mon Feb 27, 2017 05:55AM
Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi (file photo by AFP)
Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi (file photo by AFP)

A top Chinese diplomat will be visiting the United States this week to become Beijing’s first and highest-level official to visit America since President Donald Trump took office.

China’s State Councillor Yang Jiechi is expected to meet US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other senior officials on Monday and Tuesday to discuss “bilateral ties and issues of common concern,” according to a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement.

He will also discuss the arrangements for a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump, a researcher at the China Institute of International Studies told official Xinhua news agency.

Earlier in February, Tillerson had met with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a G20 foreign ministers meeting in Germany.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi talk before a meeting on the sidelines of a G20 summit at the World Conference Center in Bonn, western Germany, February 17, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Relations between the US and China experienced a brief but serious chill after Trump talked over the phone with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen soon after his election In November last year. China considers self-ruled Taiwan a part of its territory and subject to its sovereignty. Trump caused even more controversy when he said he would not necessarily uphold the US’s “One China” policy, which has to do with recognizing Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan.

The call and the subsequent remarks caused great unease in Beijing, and Chinese officials harshly criticized Trump.

Tensions, however, began to ease between the two governments when Trump later told Xi in a telephone call that his administration would continue to honor the so-called One China policy.