China Calls for Calm as US-N. Korea Tensions Rise

China Calls for Calm as US-N. Korea Tensions RiseChina Calls for Calm as US-N. Korea Tensions Rise

China called for a «peaceful» resolution to tensions on the Korean Peninsula on Wednesday, as a United States aircraft carrier strike group churned toward the contested region.

Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed the situation in North Korea and Syria with US President Donald Trump in a telephone call on Wednesday, China›s Foreign Ministry said, in what one analyst described as a «new phase» of China-US relations on North Korea, CNN reported.

«I think at this point the common interest between the US and China outweigh [North Korea saber-rattling],» Alexander Neill, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Singapore, told CNN.

«China may be prepared to do some sort of tradeoff ... They want to rein in (leader) Kim Jong-un.»

Trump has repeatedly called on China to do more to rein in its unruly neighbor, which has stepped up its missile development and nuclear program since 2016.

The US dispatched the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson after the latest missile test by North Korea last week, drawing a forceful warning from Pyongyang.

According to a statement from China›s Foreign Ministry, Xi reiterated that China wants a denuclearized Korean Peninsula and called for peace and stability.

«China advocates to resolve the issue through peaceful means and is willing to maintain communication and coordination with the US on the Korean Peninsula issue,» the statement quoted Xi as saying.

China has not signaled any clear change in policy toward its neighbor and Xi›s language followed China›s usual script on North Korea.

However, Wednesday›s read-out was the first time China confirmed in detail that the two leaders had directly discussed North Korea.

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