The rapidly deteriorating relationship between the United States and China was on full display on Monday. A meeting between the country's top diplomats turned sour in front of watching journalists. Scenes like these are usually supposed to be safe, quiet photo ops for US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi.
]>> Instead, Wang here starts accusing the States of escalating its trade disputes, interfering in Taiwan and meddling in China's domestic affairs. And Pompeo seizes on it.>> Fundamental disagreement. We have great concerns about the actions that China has taken.>> There was also a moment of confusion when the two men accused each other of canceling a separate security summit that was planned for later this month.
Reuters isn't able to determine who cancelled on who either. Correspondent Michael Martina was in the room.>> So the United States was here on this trip in theory to brief China on its interactions with North Korea over the past few days, as well as the United States' other partners, South Korea and Japan, in the region.
Certainly publicly, the United States, US officials, they have said that, hey listen, China supported the sanctions against North Korea. They share in the desire to resolve this issue. And so at least publicly they are saying that they're confident that China still wants to contribute and follow through. Privately perhaps there are more questions about whether or not China may go softer on North Korea because of the current situation in US China ties.
>> An editorial by a state-run Chinese newspaper also suggested as much. It said the, quote, severity of friction with Washington is diverting attention away from the Korean peninsula.>> Thank you for hosting me today, I look forward to our conversation.