June 15 (UPI) — Chinese President Xi Jinping wants Beijing to stay in the thick of U.S.-North Korea negotiations while exercising influence over both sides, following the landmark summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.
Xi, who met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday, said the summit is “an important first step in the process of political resolution of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula,” the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The Chinese leader also congratulated both sides for the talks, Beijing’s foreign ministry said Friday.
During his meeting with Pompeo, Xi emphasized support for China’s “dual suspension” proposal in which North Korean steps toward denuclearization would be met with reductions or an end to joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises.
“China is firmly committed to the principle of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and resolution of problems through dialogue and negotiation,” Xi said, according to the foreign ministry. “China hopes to continue its active and constructive role and will work with all countries, including the United States, and participate in the process.”
The U.S. State Department said Pompeo confirmed the U.S. goal of a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula to Beijing.
Pompeo also told Chinese officials Beijing should do more to reduce a “too high” surplus, and bilateral trade should become “more balanced, more reciprocal and more fair,” according to Kyodo News.
Meanwhile Friday, the White House released a statement from the president outlining plans to address “unfair practices” China has engaged in with regards to trade.
“These practices, documented in an extensive report published by the United States Trade Representative on March 22, 2018, harm our economic and national security and deepen our already massive trade imbalance with China,” the statement read.
The president accused China of “theft of intellectual property and technology” and said the administration will impose a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of Chinese goods with “industrially significant technologies.”
“This includes goods related to China’s Made in China 2025 strategic plan to dominate the emerging high-technology industries that will drive future economic growth for China,” the statement read.