U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi aired their grievances in the open on Monday during a brief visit to Beijing by Washington’s top diplomat, amid worsening relations.

While the exchange included typical diplomatic pleasantries, and the two officials emphasized the need for cooperation, their remarks before journalists at the start of their meeting at Beijing’s Diaoyutai State Guest House were unusually pointed.

“Recently, as the U.S. side has been constantly escalating trade friction toward China, it has also adopted a series of actions on the Taiwan issue that harm China’s rights and interests, and has made groundless criticism of China’s domestic and foreign policies,” Wang said at a joint appearance with Pompeo.

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