China urges caution by all on nuclear issue

By CHEN WEIHUA/MO JINGXI/ZHOU JIN | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-12 07:15

China urges caution by all on nuclear issue

US President Donald Trump speaks with reporters after a security briefing with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster (left) and Vice-President Mike Pence (right) at Trump's golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Thursday. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

Beijing hopes related parties will speak and behave with caution, and not follow the old path of "showing aggressiveness" by turns, after the recent exchange of fiery words between Pyongyang and Washington, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Friday.

"The current situation on the Korean Peninsula is complex and sensitive. China hopes related parties can speak and behave with caution, and do more to help ease tensions and enhance mutual trust," he said in a statement released on the ministry's website.

Geng's remarks came after US President Donald Trump warned the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on Thursday of "an event the likes of which nobody's seen before", following Pyongyang's disclosure of a plan to fire missiles near the US territory of Guam.

Speaking at his golf club in Bedminister, New Jersey, Trump again linked China's help in denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula with China trade, a move that experts disapproved of.

"I think China can do a lot more ... and I think China will do a lot more," Trump told a reporter.

"Look, we have trade with China. We lose hundreds of billions of dollars a year on trade with China. They know how I feel. It's not going to continue like that. But if China helps us, I'll feel a lot differently for trade," he said.

China has stated that the United States should refrain from discussing the settlement of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula within the context of China-US trade.

"We believe that the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and China-US trade relations are issues that are in two completely different domains. It is inappropriate to discuss them together," Vice-Minister of Commerce Qian Keming said last week.

Li Haidong, a professor of the Institute of International Relations at China Foreign Affairs University, said US policy toward the DPRK doesn't help the situation, and Pyongyang's announcement of a plan to fire missiles near Guam has proved it.

According to Li, the US still keeps pressing Beijing even though China is not a direct party to the peninsula nuclear issue.

"Linking the issue with China trade will only harm the current mutually beneficial trade relationship between Beijing and Washington," he added.

Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the New York City-based Council on Foreign Relations, said he is perplexed as to why Trump continues to link the issues of trade and the DPRK.

"The US and China should work together where they have common interests in defusing tensions in the region," he told China Daily on Thursday.

Alden said there are serious trade issues between the two countries that can and should be resolved through negotiations.

"The problems will not go away because the two countries are cooperating on the DPRK," he added.

Zhou Jin contributed to this story.

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