China has rejected US presidential candidate Donald Trump’s comments about North Korea, saying that China neither caused the Korean nuclear issue nor has the power to solve it alone.
Republican president nominee Trump said in the first presidential debate with Democrat Hillary Clinton on Monday that he expects Beijing to stop Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.
“China should solve that problem for us. China should go into North Korea. China is totally powerful as it relates to North Korea,” he said.
But China’s foreign ministry slammed Trump’s proposal within hours after the debate finished.
“First, it is not China that caused the Korean nuclear issue in the first place, and it is not China that holds the key to the settlement of this issue,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said when asked about Trump’s comments in a regular press conference on Tuesday.
The spokesperson said that as a permanent member of UN Security Council neighbouring the Korean Peninsula, China has been working to uphold peace and stability in the region and to preserve the international nuclear non-proliferation regime.
“We have been striving for a proper settlement of the Korean nuclear issue along with all relevant parties”, the spokesperson said, adding that China is "devoted to such a position and will continue to work towards it".
While China is North Korea’s most important ally, Beijing has grown increasingly frustrated at North Korea’s unpredictable moves, including nuclear tests and missile launches, under Kim Jong Un’s leadership.
In early September, North Korea launched three missiles while China’s was hosting world leaders at the G20 summit in Hangzhou and then conducted its biggest nuclear test to date, sparking Beijing's firm condemnation.