US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Yang Jiechi, a high-ranking Chinese diplomat, agreed during a two-day meeting in Hawaii to take action to implement the consensus reached between the two countries, China’s state-media said in a report on Thursday.
The meeting on Wednesday was the first high-level encounter between the two major world powers since the COVID-19 pandemic and comes at the lowest point of bilateral relations after both Pompeo and US President Donald Trump have blamed China for the virus, reports Efe news.
The People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, reported that the two countries “agreed to take actions to honestly implement the consensus reached by” Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in reference to the latest agreements between them during trade negotiations.
“The two sides exchanged in-depth views on China-US relations and regional and international issues of common concern,” the People’s Daily said.
Pompeo and Yang, who is director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, “have comprehensively elaborated their respective positions and believed that the dialogue was constructive”, it added.
The two countries also agreed “to keep in touch and communication”, the newspaper said.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued after the meeting, the White House said that Pompeo “stressed important American interests and the need for fully-reciprocal dealings between the two nations across commercial, security, and diplomatic interaction”.
“He also stressed the need for full transparency and information sharing to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and prevent future outbreaks,” the statement added.
Pompeo has been very critical of China in the past few months and repeatedly said that the coronavirus emerged from a Chinese laboratory.
Relations between the two powers, which were already strained on account of the trade war that they have been locked in for more than two years, have deteriorated considerably since the coronavirus outbreak began to severely affect the US.
The talks between Pompeo and Jiechi in Honolulu were held behind closed doors with no formal announcement or media presence.
US sources have said that the meeting was held at China’s initiative.
Yang had last met Pompeo in New York in August 2019 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.