A US diplomat in Beijing who was involved in the negotiations that led to the signing of the South China Sea treaty is the “most important” in the US-Chinese relationship, US President Donald Trump said Wednesday.
The president, who has previously said the United States would not withdraw from the treaty if China did not comply with it, made the comment during a press conference with the country’s top diplomat, Wang Yi.
Wang Yi said the US has been “very impressed” with the relationship between Washington and Beijing and the importance of the relationship with China.
He also said the relationship is “more than simply a nickname.”
Trump’s comments came in response to questions from a reporter about how far the United Kingdom will go to uphold the treaty.
The White House has said it will continue to pressure China over the disputed waters, which have become a hot button issue with the US and its allies in the region.WANG said the agreement between Washington, Beijing and Manila on the treaty “is not a binding document.”
“The United States and the Philippines have reached a comprehensive agreement to address maritime disputes in the South and East China Seas,” Wang said.
“This agreement is not a treaty but is part of a process of dialogue and negotiation that is guided by international law.”
The White Hill, a Washington-based think tank, said the “Mick” is an American diplomat who was on the negotiating team for the treaty, which was signed in February.
The United States is the largest signatory to the treaty and the only nation to sign on as a signatory.