China's Xi says willing to promote dialogue between Koreas

BEIJING Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:40am EDT

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew (not pictured) during their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing March 19, 2013. REUTERS/Feng Li/Pool

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew (not pictured) during their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing March 19, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Feng Li/Pool

Related Topics

BEIJING (Reuters) - China is willing to promote dialogue between North and South Korea as stability on the Korean peninsula is also in China's interests, President Xi Jinping told his South Korean counterpart on Wednesday, China's Foreign Ministry said.

Beijing is Pyongyang's sole diplomatic and economic ally, but relations have been strained by North Korea's bellicose actions, including carrying out a third nuclear test last month.

"Peace and stability on the Korean peninsula is in the vital interests of the people of the peninsula and also of the Chinese people," Xi told President Park Geun-hye in a telephone call, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"China is committed to maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula and realizing the peninsula's denuclearization, and upholds resolving the issue through dialogue and consultation," Xi added.

"China is willing to provide necessary help to promote reconciliation and cooperation."

Beijing joined a new round of U.N. sanctions against North Korea this month and has said it wanted them implemented.

But questions remain over how closely it imposes restraints on its neighbor, viewed as both an embarrassment and a strategic bulwark against U.S. influence in the region.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard, Huang Yan and Sui-Lee Wee. Editing by Dean Yates)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (2)
BlueCannon wrote:
This is a major policy shift from previous leader Hu. The usual China’s stance was to advocate 6-party talks initiated by Bush. Now China is willing to play the intermediary role to unseam both Koreas. Xi has to do that becoz he knows N.Korea is the firewall of China.

Mar 20, 2013 3:24am EDT  --  Report as abuse
reality-again wrote:
Sounds good, as China seems to accept a new, more positive and involved role that coincides with its national interest, which is stability and less tension in the short term, and peace in the long run.
The problem is that North Korea is ruled by a group of people that lack both responsibility and legitimacy.

Mar 20, 2013 8:37am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.