Top US general: 'We share a commitment to work through these difficult issues' with China

Top US general: 'We share a commitment to work through these difficult issues' with China
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The top United States general on Tuesday said both the United States and China are committed to working through tough issues, which comes amid heightened tensions over North Korea's missile program, Reuters reported Tuesday. 

"I think we have to be honest. We have many, many difficult issues where we don't necessarily share the same perspective," Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, reportedly told Fang Fenghui, chief of the Joint Staff Department of the People's Liberation Army, during a visit to Beijing.

"We share a commitment to work through these difficult issues," Dunford added, according to the news wire.

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Dunford and Fang signed an agreement on how to conduct China-U.S. military dialogue after discussing regional issues such as North Korea, Taiwan and the South China Sea, Reuters reported, citing a statement by China's Defense Ministry.

Fang also said the Chinese military will work with the U.S. to properly handle issues involving the two countries as they further build their trust.  

"The Chinese military is willing to make efforts with the U.S. side to strengthen strategic communication, increase strategic mutual trust, deepen practical cooperation, appropriately handle problems and disputes and effectively manage and control risks," Fang said, according to the ministry statement.

The United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution earlier this month, which will slap new sanctions on North Korea in retaliation for its repeated ballistic missile testing and continued efforts to develop nuclear weapons.

China's vote was a welcoming sign that Beijing is willing to work with Washington as tensions between the U.S. and North Korea remain. The U.S. and President Trump have often called on China to do more to rein in its neighbor.

The news comes after The Washington Post reported earlier this month that North Korea had successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit onto a missile, although it is not clear if the weapon has been tested successfully.

North Korea has repeatedly tested intercontinental ballistic missiles in recent months, some of which could reach parts of the U.S.

While China and the United States say they are committed to having a stable relationship, there are notable issues.

China has not liked U.S. freedom of navigation patrols near Chinese-controlled islands in the disputed South China Sea and U.S. arms sales and support for self-ruled Taiwan, which China claims as a province.

The U.S. has expressed concerns about a lack of transparency in Chinese military spending and what the United States calls unsafe intercepts of U.S. aircraft by the Chinese air force.