Tillerson lauds China-US contacts in meeting with leader Xi

In this Saturday, March 18, 2017 photo, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi reach to shak

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stare at each other as they shake hands at the end of

BEIJING (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the U.S. is looking forward to the first meeting between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

In talks with Xi in Beijing on Sunday, Tillerson said Trump places a "very high value" on communications with the Chinese president via phone calls and exchanges of letters.

Tillerson said Trump looked forward to "the opportunity of a visit in the future," an apparent reference to unconfirmed reports of plans for Trump and Xi to meet in Florida next month.

Tillerson has struck a cordial tone during his meetings in Beijing, the last stop in a tour of Asia that also included visits to Japan and South Korea. His trip has been dominated by concerns over North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons program.