BEIJING — China's foreign ministry has made further comments on remarks by President Xi Jinping that were widely interpreted in Western media as a rebuke of North Korea.
On Sunday, President Xi Jinping told a major regional forum that no country should be allowed to throw a region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish gain. His statement was widely interpreted in the Western media as a rebuke of North Korea.
When asked if Xi was referring to North Korea in his speech, China’s Foreign Ministry responded Monday that Xi’s statements referred to security in the entire Asia Pacific region.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said the international community should ensure security for all and that all countries have shared interests in the peace and prosperity of the region.
The New York Times called Xi’s speech “an indirect but clear criticism of China’s longtime ally” and other major media reported the remarks were aimed at Pyongyang.
Chinese media had a different interpretation. Beijing newspapers, quoting Xi, said U.S. military troops stationed in South Korea since the end of the Korean War make North Korea insecure and inspire the North to lash out with provocative threats. In Hong Kong one newspaper said Xi’s statements referred to territorial disputes between China and other Asian nations over the South China Seas.
While Chinese authorities have refrained from directly criticizing Pyongyang, China has said that the North Korea issue is of “grave concern.”
China’s Foreign Ministry said Beijing wants to maintain peace and supports the resumption of six-party talks over North Korea's nuclear program.
Spokesperson Hong Lei said China wants to ease confrontation and that war is not in the interest of any party. He said the only way to realize denuclearization is through dialogue.