World

China's top diplomat has face-to-face talks with Trump

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump, who has attacked China on issues from trade to the South China Sea, held his first face-to-face talk with a member of the Chinese leadership on Monday.

The White House said it was a chance to discuss shared security interests and a possible meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

State Councillor Yang Jiechi, China's top diplomat, met Mr Trump briefly after talks with new US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster; Mr Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Mr Jared Kushner; and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer called it "an opportunity to say 'hi' to the President" before Mr Yang left.

"This was an opportunity to begin that conversation and talk to them on shared interests of national security," he said.

China's Foreign Ministry cited Mr Yang as telling Mr Trump that China is willing to enhance exchanges with the US at all levels, expand coordination and cooperation and respect each others' core interests and major concerns. - REUTERS

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