Xi urges restraint on Korean nuclear issue in phone talk with Trump

By Zhao Huanxin in Washington | | Updated: 2017-08-13 03:30

Chinese President Xi Jinping urged restraint on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue in a phone talk with his US counterpart Donald Trump on Friday night local time, calling all sides to avoid rhetoric or action that would inflame tensions.

The phone call was made hours after Trump issued fresh threats of swift and forceful retaliation against Pyongyang, warning that its leader "will regret it fast" if he takes any action against US territories or allies.

Trump announced he would make the phone call earlier on Friday in New Jersey after talks with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and UN ambassador Nikki Haley, saying, "We have been working very closely with China and with other countries."

Xi said China and the United States have common interests in achieving denuclearization and maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, and China is ready to work with the US to appropriately resolve the issue, according to a readout released by Chinese Foreign Ministry.

The concerned parities should strive to resolve the issue through "dialogue and negotiation" to reach a political solution, Xi said.

"China is willing to keep close contacts with the United States, on the basis of mutual respect, to seek a sound settlement on the issue," according to the readout.

The Chinese president said that Beijing places high value on Trump's state visit to China later this year, for which he urged both sides to make good preparations. Trump said he is looking forward to this visit.

Trump said the United States fully understands China's efforts in resolving the Korean nuclear issue, and is willing to continue to keep close contacts with Beijing on major international and regional issues of common concern, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Saturday.

In their phone call, Xi recalled their meeting on the sidelines of the Group of 20 Summit last month in Hamburg, Germany, which Xi said was "productive".

Maintaining close contacts between the two leaders on issues of common concern is "very important for the development of the China-US relations", Xi added.

Trump also stressed the importance of maintaining close contacts between the two leaders on major issues and strengthening exchanges between their countries at all levels as well as in various areas, according to the Xinhua report.

The development of US-China relations enjoys good momentum, he noted, voicing his belief that bilateral ties could be better.

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