But bilateral ties, which date back to the Korean War, have weakened since North Korea began testing nuclear weapons in 2006 and Beijing has since joined the global community in supporting United Nations sanctions.
North Korea has repeatedly asserted that sanctions are killing its people while claiming that worldwide diplomatic and economic pressure will never derail its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons development programs, essentially telling the world that the regime will starve its people before abandoning its weapons of mass destruction.
With sanctions now sinking their teeth into North Korea, the United States and its allies will discuss a naval blockade that could end North Korean smuggling, bringing the maximum pressure campaign towards its endgame.
A spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry told reporters in Beijing the Vancouver meeting would undermine peace efforts.
Mr. Tillerson is slated to co-host with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.
A North Korean ship passes in front of the waterfront of the Chinese border city of Dandong (at rear), in China's northeast Liaoning province, opposite the North Korean town of Sinuiju on September 4, 2017.
A resolution adopted by the UN Security Council bans UN members from importing items including coal, iron ore and seafood from North Korea.
But Hook said America has kept China informed on enforcing sanctions and added that both it and Russian Federation would be briefed after the Vancouver conference.
The United States has long taken a harsher stance against North Korea than China, but Chinese leaders are growing frustrated with the regime's continued nuclear testing.
Relations between Pyongyang and Beijing are at a new low, so much so that the North Korean envoy to China refuses to come out of the embassy. North Korea agreed to send a delegation to the Olympic Games and both sides agreed to hold talks on reducing tensions along their border.
There were reports that North Korea had proliferation linkages with Pakistan.
"We understand that it would be the last day of our country'".