China hits back at Trump criticism over
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[July 31, 2017]
By Ben Blanchard and Elias Glenn
BEIJING (Reuters) - China hit back on
Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted he was "very
disappointed" in China following Pyongyang's latest missile test, saying
the problem did not arise in China and that all sides need to work for a
China has become increasingly frustrated with American and Japanese
criticism that it should do more to rein in Pyongyang. China is North
Korea's closest ally, but Beijing is angry with its continued nuclear
and missile tests.
North Korea said on Saturday it had conducted another successful test of
an intercontinental ballistic missile that proved its ability to strike
the U.S. mainland, drawing a sharp warning from Trump and a rebuke from
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke with Trump on Monday and agreed
on the need for more action on North Korea just hours after the U.S.
Ambassador to the United Nations said Washington is "done talking about
A White House statement after the phone call said the two leaders
"agreed that North Korea poses a grave and growing direct threat to the
United States, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and other countries near
It said Trump "reaffirmed our ironclad commitment" to defend Japan and
South Korea from any attack, "using the full range of United States
Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday after the missile test that he was
"very disappointed" in China and that Beijing profits from U.S. trade
but had done "nothing" for the United States with regards to North
Korea, something he would not allow to continue.
China's Foreign Ministry, in a statement sent to Reuters responding to
Trump's tweets, said the North Korean nuclear issue did not arise
because of China and that everyone needed to work together to seek a
"All parties should have a correct understanding of this," it said,
adding the international community widely recognized China's efforts to
seek a resolution.
The essence of Sino-U.S. trade is mutual benefit and win-win, with a
vast amount of facts proving the healthy development of business and
trade ties is good for both countries, the ministry added.
Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Qian Keming, weighed in too, telling a
news conference there was no link between the North Korea issue and
"We think the North Korea nuclear issue and China-US trade are issues
that are in two completely different domains. They aren't related. They
should not be discussed together," Qian said.
China, with which North Korea does the large majority of its trade, has
repeatedly said it strictly follows U.N. resolutions on North Korea and
has denounced unilateral U.S. sanctions as unhelpful.
Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said in a statement
China must decide if it is willing to back imposing stronger U.N.
sanctions on North Korea over Friday night's long-range missile test,
the North's second this month.
Any new U.N. Security Council resolution "that does not significantly
increase the international pressure on North Korea is of no value",
Haley said, adding that Japan and South Korea also needed to do more.
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Soldiers carry a PLA flag and Chinese national flags before the
military parade to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the
foundation of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) at Zhurihe
military base in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China, July 30,
Abe told reporters after his conversation with Trump that repeated
efforts by the international community to find a peaceful solution
to the North Korean issue had yet to bear fruit in the face of
Pyongyang's unilateral "escalation".
"International society, including Russia and China, need to take
this seriously and increase pressure," Abe said. He said Japan and
the United States would take steps towards concrete action but did
not give details.
Abe and Trump did not discuss military action against North Korea,
nor what would constitute the crossing of a "red line" by Pyongyang,
Deputy Chief Cabinet spokesman Koichi Hagiuda told reporters.
"Pyongyang is determined to develop its nuclear and missile program
and does not care about military threats from the U.S. and South
Korea," state-run Chinese tabloid the Global Times said on Monday.
"How could Chinese sanctions change the situation?" said the paper,
which is published by the ruling Communist Party's official People's
China wants both balanced trade with the United States and lasting
peace on the Korean peninsula, its official Xinhua news agency added
in a commentary.
"However, to realize these goals, Beijing needs a more cooperative
partner in the White House, not one who piles blame on China for the
United States' failures," it added.
The United States flew two supersonic B-1B bombers over the Korean
peninsula in a show of force on Sunday in response to the missile
test and the July 3 launch of the "Hwasong-14" rocket, the Pentagon
said. The bombers took off from a U.S. air base in Guam and were
joined by Japanese and South Korean fighter jets during the
"North Korea remains the most urgent threat to regional stability,"
Pacific Air Forces commander General Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy said
in a statement.
"If called upon, we are ready to respond with rapid, lethal, and
overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing."
(Additional reporting by Chang-ran Kim in TOKYO, Ben Blanchard and
Elias Glenn in BEIJING, Christine Kim in SEOUL and Steve Holland in
WASHINGTON; Editing by Lincoln Feast, Paul Tait and Michael Perry)
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