(Bloomberg) -- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said China must step up its efforts to rein in North Korea and recognize its growing responsibility as a regional power.
“China is a significant economic and trading power, and we desire a productive relationship,” Tillerson said in Sydney after security talks with Australian counterparts. “But we cannot allow China to use its economic power to buy its way out of other problems, whether it’s militarizing islands in the South China Sea or failure to put appropriate pressure on North Korea.”
China, North Korea’s only major ally, has faced repeated calls to rein in its errant neighbor as Kim Jong Un’s regime conducts regular nuclear and missile tests. The U.S. and Australia have also implored the government in Beijing to respect the rule of law amid China’s military buildup in the South China Sea, which contains some of the world’s busiest trading routes.