|Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with US President Donald Trump at the Mar-a-Lago Resort in Florida on Thursday afternoon April 6, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua]|
President urges US leader to help defuse Korean Peninsula situation
The Korean Peninsula issue should be settled through peaceful means, President Xi Jinping told US President Donald Trump on Wednesday, adding that Beijing is willing to continue a dialogue with Washington on the issue.
Xi spoke by telephone with Trump on the issue just days after his meeting with the US president on April 6 and 7 in Florida.
Xi "stressed that China sticks to the target of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and that China is committed to peace and stability of the peninsula," according to a news release issued by the Foreign Ministry.
"China holds that the issue should be solved through peaceful means and is ready to maintain communication and coordination with the United States on the issue," the statement said.
The two presidents also talked about the situation in Syria. Xi said any use of chemical weapons is unacceptable and that the path of political settlement should be followed.
He expressed the hope that the UN Security Council would speak in one voice, as it is important for the council's members to remain united over the issue.
Xi said his recent tete-a-tete with Trump at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida has produced important results, which have won a positive response from among the Chinese people and the international community.
He and Trump have increased mutual understanding and established sound working relations, he added.
He urged the two sides to promote economic cooperation, expand exchanges in military, law enforcement, technology and communication, enhance communication and coordination regarding major global and regional issues through a newly established four-pronged dialogue mechanism.
Xi also asked teams from China and the US to work together to make sure Trump's visit to China later this year will achieve fruitful results.
Trump has called the meeting with Xi at Mar-a-Lago a success. He said he was looking forward to his state visit to China this year.
When asked about the reason behind the phone conversation, which came right after Xi's US trip, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Wednesday that the two presidents agreed to keep close communication through all kinds of channels.
"After all, the time of the meetings was limited," he said.
Lu said Beijing had taken note of remarks made by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that Washington would consider talking with Pyongyang after the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to the north stops all nuclear and missile tests.
Ruan Zongze, executive deputy president of the China Institute of International Studies, said the situation on the Korean Peninsula issue is "very severe" and became an important topic of the phone conversation between the two leaders.
The US and the Republic of Korea to the south are conducting their biggest-ever military exercises, and the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group is heading to the area.
"Once the situation is out of control, it will be a disaster to China and the region. So China has clearly expressed its resolution to keeping stability there, which is Beijing's bottom line," Ruan said.
The change of tone is a move forward in the right direction on the issue, Ruan added.
Xinhua contributed to this story.