China urges preventing escalation of Korean tension

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China said Wednesday the most pressing task regarding tensions on the Korean Peninsula is to prevent any escalation and avoid any actions that would "inflame the situation."

"The parties concerned should keep calm and exercise restraint, and work to bring the situation back onto the track of dialogue and negotiation," said Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi while addressing a forum in Beijing.

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"As a big responsible country, China decides its position based on the merits of each case and does not seek to protect any side," Yang said.

Yang's remarks came after the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the United States on Sunday launched a four-day joint naval drill in waters west of the divided peninsula, following the exchange of artillery fire last week between the ROK and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

"Showing power and confrontation is not a solution to problems and not in the interests of related parties," Yang said at a forum on Asia Pacific issues.

"China is highly concerned about the current situation," Yang said. "Stability on the Korean Peninsula is conducive to all; chaos there is detrimental to all."

"The Chinese side has made a series of efforts to prevent the situation from escalating and worsening," Yang said.

China on Sunday proposed emergency consultations among the heads of delegation to the Six-Party Talks in Beijing in early December.

The talks group China, the DPRK, the United States, the ROK, Russia and Japan.

Yang said the emergency consultations would "help ease the current tensions and create conditions for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks."

"We will make continued efforts to encourage all parties to work together to maintain peace and stability on the peninsula and in Northeast Asia," Yang said.

Last week, Yang held phone conversations with counterparts from the ROK, the United States, Russia and Japan. He also met with the DPRK Ambassador to China Chi Jae Ryong.

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