Xi calls Donald Trump, asks both to scale down rhetoric
In a serious bid to de-escalate tension between US and North Korea, Beijing shouldered an elderly role on Saturday. The Chinese President Xi Jinping called his US counterpart Donald Trump and urged both parties to practice restraint regarding the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.
According to Chinese official Xinhua news agency, Xi said that the concerned parties should “avoid remarks and actions that could escalate tensions” on the Korean Peninsula. He further said that “China is ready to work with the United States to appropriately resolve the issue.”
China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement, “Xi made clear in the call he was asking both sides to scale down the rhetoric and stressed the importance of diplomacy.” Xi also stressed that China and the US have common interests in achieving denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and maintaining peace and stability there.
Trump, for his part, said the United States fully understands China’s efforts in resolving the nuclear issue, and is willing to continue to keep close contacts with Beijing on major international and regional issues of common concern.
Tension was mounted on Tuesday last when Donald Trump appeared to threaten nuclear war on North Korea, saying he would unleash “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if Pyongyang continues to threaten the US or its allies.
US President was harsher on Friday, saying in a tweet that he had “military solutions” that were “locked and loaded” at his disposal to use on North Korea.
Trump was provoked by North Korea’s announcement of a plan to strike the waters off the US Pacific territory of Guam with ballistic missiles. He also said that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “will truly regret it and he will regret it fast” if he issued an overt threat or attacks Guam or a US ally.
According to a senior analyst Adrian Brown, the message from Xi to Trump was made clear in the “short, but polite” telephone call. He says, “This was a chance for the Chinese president to show to his people that he is trying to take the lead in trying to resolve the crisis.”