Xi Tells Trump That Stability, Denuclearization Central to Korean Peninsula Policy
President Xi Jinping told U.S. President Donald Trump by phone on Wednesday that China is committed to the denuclearization of North Korea in a peaceful manner.
The two leaders spoke by phone after the U.S. deployed an aircraft carrier to the region after North Korea’s most recent missile test.
Xi added that China wants to work with the U.S. on North Korea, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.
China has been opposed to the development of nuclear weapons in North Korea, which shares a border with the country in Northeast China. But China’s attempts to bring North Korea and the U.S. back to the negotiating table, known as Six-Party Talks, have stalled for eight years.
The call came five days after Xi wrapped up a two-day visit to the U.S. to meet with Trump for the first time. During the visit at Trump’s private resort in southeast Florida, the two men exchanged ideas on a range of issues concerning the world’s two biggest economies, including trade friction, China’s maritime tension with its neighbors, and Syria.
Xi’s comments on Wednesday about the North Korean nuclear issue were similar to those he made to Trump during his visit.
The U.S. was sending the USS Carl Vinson to waters near the Korean Peninsula, the Pentagon said on Saturday. The move was widely believed to showcase U.S. power after North Korea tested a missile on April 5, and more tests were expected in mid-April around the birthday of the nation’s first leader, Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of current leader Kim Jong Un.
North Korea’s Foreign Ministry reacted angrily on Monday to the ship’s movement, warning that the U.S. would be responsible for “catastrophic results from its arrogant acts,” according to North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency.
Trump tweeted on Tuesday that the U.S. will solve the North Korea problem with or without China. “North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.” the tweet said.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry statement on Wednesday quoted Xi as saying that he and Trump reached vital consensuses at their meeting in Florida in a number of key international and regional issues.
Xi and Trump had “improved mutual understanding” and “established a proper working relationship,” Xi was quoted as saying.
The two sides agreed to push ahead with their Florida agreement on establishing so-called China-U.S Comprehensive Dialogues on security, economic interactions, law-enforcement and cybersecurity, and culture, Xi said Wednesday.
They will also speed up trade talks to U.S. exports to China.
After the Florida meeting, Trump said he accepted an invitation by Xi to visit China later this year, but the date has not yet been set. Xi emphasized that the two sides will work closely to ensure Trump’s visit to China leads to positive outcomes.
Xi on Wednesday also reiterated China’s determination to use diplomatic means to solve the crisis in Syria. The U.S. on April 6 fired missiles at a Syrian air base after dozens of civilians were reportedly killed in a chemical weapon attack, which the U.S. believes was launched by the Syrian government.
Contact reporter Wu Gang (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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