Xi, Trump discuss Korean situation over the phone

Xi, Trump discuss Korean situation over the phone
US President Donald Trump (left) and China President Xi Jinping (right), in 2nd recent telephone call, focus on how to de-escalate tensions.
PHOTO: Reuters

President Xi Jinping urged all parties involved to exercise "restraint" over the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue in a phone call with US President Donald Trump on Monday, their second such conversation this month.

Xi said China firmly opposes actions that violate UN Security Council resolutions and added China expects all relevant parties to remain restrained and avoid taking moves that aggravate tension on the peninsula.

Only when all parties involved shoulder their duties and meet each other halfway can the peninsula's nuclear issue be resolved swiftly and denuclearization be achieved, President Xi said.

"We are willing to work with all parties involved, including the US, to jointly work for the peace of the Korean Peninsula, Northeast Asia and the world," Xi said.

The two leaders agreed to maintain close contact through various means and exchange views on issues of common concern in a timely manner.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that Monday's phone conversation was a sign of the close contact between Beijing and Washington.

Their close contact and frequent exchange of views are "a good thing for both countries as well as the world", Geng said.

Trump also spoke by phone with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday about the peninsula situation.

In response, Geng said China has always encouraged Japan to play a positive and constructive role in resolving the nuclear issue.

Wang Junsheng, a researcher on Asia-Pacific studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Xi and Trump's phone conversation on Monday shows the rising urgency for tackling the peninsula's crisis and the sense of urgency shared by Beijing and Washington.

Xi's comments indicate that de-escalating the tension is not only Pyongyang's but also Washington's duty, and China has played a dutiful and fair role in addressing this issue, Wang said.

Xi and Trump had their first meeting at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on April 6 and 7.

One major highlight of the meeting is that the two countries have established four high-level dialogues: on diplomacy and security; economy; law enforcement and cybersecurity; and society and culture.

Xi and Trump later spoke by phone on April 12, focusing on bilateral ties, the peninsula situation and Syria.

Xi said that members of the public from both countries and the international community have spoken positively of their recent meeting and their phone talks.

The international situation is "changing rapidly", Xi said, and it is necessary for China and the US to maintain close contact and exchange views on the important issues in a timely manner.

Trump said it is important for the countries to maintain communication and coordination over major issues.

On bilateral ties, Xi said on Monday the two sides should effectively implement the consensus that has been reached and cement the stable and developing momentum of the bilateral relationship.

Teams from both countries should strengthen coordination and effectively prepare for Trump's visit to China during the year, Xi said.

Also, the teams should initiate arrangements soon for the four dialogues, Xi said.

Trump said he had a good meeting with Xi at Mar-a-Lago and he is satisfied with the development of the relationship and respects the Chinese people.

The US president also said he expects another meeting with Xi soon, in addition to his state visit to China.

Xi said the two countries should press ahead with exchanges and co-operation in areas including the economy and trade, military, law-enforcement, cyberspace, culture and localities.

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