Beijing, March 18 (IANS) US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived here on Saturday and is set to discuss a new strategy to deal with North Korea with top Chinese officials.
Tillerson, the first member of US President Donald Trump's cabinet to visit the Asian giant, arrived in Beijing following a visit to South Korea and Japan, where he emphasised the need to change Washington's approach to Pyongyang and asserted that "all options are on the table", Efe news reported
The US Secretary of State, upon his arrival, met his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi.
"We attach great importance to your visit," Xinhua news agency quoted Wang as saying.
Tillerson is slated to meet State Councillor Yang Jiechi at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse for foreign leaders in Beijing later in the day.
Tillerson will conclude his visit on Sunday with a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
In both South Korea and Japan, Tillerson advocated a new plan to counter the military developments of the North Korean regime following its latest weapons tests but did not offer further details.
He also stressed he will seek to involve China, North Korea's only ally, in this new plan and ask the Asian country to step up pressure on Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Friday that China is open to talks on the new plan provided it leads to a reduction in tension on the Korean peninsula and its denuclearisation.
Tillerson is also expected to finalise, in his meetings with the Chinese leaders, plans for an upcoming meeting between Xi and and Trump.