China asked U.S. officials to remove THAAD from South Korea

The Chinese government also claimed the United States recognized Tibet as part of China.
By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |  June 22, 2017 at 11:39 AM
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June 22 (UPI) -- The Chinese government asked the United States to remove the U.S. THAAD battery deployed in central South Korea and claimed the United States acknowledged Tibet as a part of China, after the U.S.-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue concluded on Wednesday.

Beijing's foreign ministry said in an online statement published Thursday that senior Chinese officials reached a consensus on key issues during the high-level security dialogue in Washington, where U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was in attendance.

Tillerson and U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis did not mention discussions of Tibet or THAAD during a press briefing following the meeting.

The top U.S. diplomat did confirm the two sides called for the "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula."

"We call on [North Korea] to halt its illegal nuclear weapons program and its ballistic missile test as stipulated in the United Nations Security Council resolutions," Tillerson said. "We reaffirmed our commitment to implement in full all relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions."

The U.S. state secretary also pointed out he hopes China will do its part to put an end to a "number of criminal enterprises" that enable North Korea to earn foreign currency.

In its official statement, China not only said it expressed opposition to the deployment of the U.S. missile defense system in South Korea, but that it also "requested the United States suspend the process and withdraw" THAAD, Yonhap's Beijing correspondent reported.

China did not give details on the U.S. response to the proposition Chinese government officials raised during the meeting.

The Chinese foreign ministry did claim U.S. officials recognized China's "principle position" that Tibet belongs to China.

"In this dialogue, Chinese officials stressed the importance of observing a pledge to abide by the principle position, related to the problems of Taiwan and Tibet," the foreign ministry stated. "The U.S. side recognized Tibet as a part of China in adherence to the 'One China' policy."

Tillerson did not mention Tibet on Wednesday, but said the Trump administration will "stand up for American and universal values like human rights."

"We will not be shy about raising our concerns about China's human rights record," he said.

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