China has urged the US to adopt a “cool-headed” approach to dealing with tensions in the Korean peninsula and North Korea’s increasing belligerence, reports said on Saturday after foreign minister Wang Yi met US secretary of state Rex Tillerson in Beijing.
Tillerson arrived in the city on the last leg of his Asia tour a day after talking about military options against North Korea during his meetings in Seoul, the South Korean capital.
Pyongyang has triggered both tension and anger by conducting two nuclear tests and a series of missile launches since early 2016. Earlier this month, it launched four ballistic missiles and is said to be working on nuclear-tipped missiles that can hit the US.
The US feels that China, North Korea’s closest ally and economic benefactor, isn’t doing enough to defuse the situation. President Donald Trump had tweeted that North Korea was “behaving very badly” and China had done “little to help”.
Tillerson conveyed Washington’s worry over the situation, saying the level of tension was “dangerous”.
The BBC quoted Wang as saying that the US should be “cool-headed” about the situation even though it was at a “crossroads”.
“We hope that all parties, including our friends from the United States, could size up the situation in a cool-headed and comprehensive fashion and arrive at a wise decision,” Wang said.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Friday talks were the best way to resolve the problems of the Korean peninsula.
“As a close neighbour of the peninsula, China has even more reason than any other country to care about the situation,” she said at the regular ministry briefing.
“China and the US are now in close communication on arranging a meeting between the two presidents and exchanges at other levels,” Wang added.
The two top diplomats were likely to have discussed a range of issues, including trade.
“The world's top two economies do have every reason to remain committed to a strong relationship because of their broad range of shared interests, especially in trade and commerce,” a Xinhua article said.
“The two-way trade of goods last year exceeded $519.6 billion, according to the Chinese ministry of commerce. That makes China America's largest trading partner, and America China's second largest. Also, instead of taking away US manufacturing jobs, economic and trade exchanges between the two countries have actually supported more than 2.6 million jobs across a host of US industries from automobile, construction equipment to agriculture,” it said.