Listen to this article
Xi Jinping stressed the need to avoid conflict in dealing with North Korea in the Chinese president’s second phone call with Donald Trump on Wednesday after the latter deployed an aircraft carrier group to waters near the Korean peninsula this week.
The two heads of state, who met last week for a two-day summit in Florida, discussed North Korea during a call in which, according to state broadcaster CCTV, Mr Xi emphasised that China would “stick to realising the goal of peninsula denuclearisation and maintain the peninsula’s peace and stability”.
He noted to the US president that China wished to “solve the issue in a peaceful way” and wanted to stay in contact regarding the North Korea issue, according to CCTV. Mr Trump today warned in an interview with Fox Business Network that he was sending an “armada” to the Korean peninsula.
Regarding Syria, the state broadcaster also reported that Mr Xi said any use of chemical weapons was unacceptable but that countries should seek a political solution, and that China hoped the UN Security Council could speak “with one voice” on the matter.
Those comments come after US missiles were fired at a Syrian air base last week at the same time Mr Trump was dining with Mr Xi at his Mar-a-Lago resort. However the US president also told Fox News that America was “not going into Syria” following days of confusion over how the US plans to proceed regarding the war-torn country.
Rising tensions in the region also come as Rex Tillerson, US secretary of state, visits Moscow amid mounting tensions between the Kremlin and the White House, with Vladimir Putin warning Washington it is being duped into military attacks against the Syrian regime.