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Beijing will not pick sides: FM

12-02-2010 09:58 BJT Special Report:DPRK, S. Korea Exchange Fire |

China urged concerned parties Wednesday to make efforts to prevent any escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, while stressing that it will not show favoritism to any side.

"The parties concerned should keep calm, exercise restraint and work to bring the situation back onto the track of dialogue and negotiation," Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said at a forum. "China decides its position based on the merits of each case and does not seek to protect any side."

"Displays of power and confrontations are not solutions to problems and not in the interests of related parties," he said.

Yang's words came amid reports that South Korea and the US are planning more military exercises, following a four-day joint naval drill that ended Wednesday involving the US carrier USGeorge Washington.

"We have been in consultations with the US to carry out several rounds of joint military drills," the Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency quoted a senior South Korean military official as saying. "The timing and participating military assets have not been decided yet."

The US military dismissed speculations Wednesday that there was anything unusual about a jet-fuel shipment to South Korea from Japan, saying it was routine and unrelated to tensions on the peninsula.

The US Navy's website reported Tuesday that the USGeorge Washington welcomed four Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission dignitaries, including a Chinese official, aboard the ship Monday.

Won Sei-hoon, South Korea's spy chief, warned that "the danger of further attacks from North Korea is high," AFP reported.

Cui Zhiying, director of the Korean Peninsula Research Center at Tongji University, told the Global Times that it is not a wise choice to try to change Pyongyang's attitude through military pressure.

"North Korea has never bowed down to such pressure, and the drills might risk further escalating the tensions," he said.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that US-South Korean drills won't lead to an all-out war, reported.

China on Sunday proposed that an emergency meeting be held early this month, among nations involved in the Six- Party Talks, to defuse tensions on the Korean Peninsula. South Korea responded by saying that the time wasn't appropriate to conduct such talks.

However, Russia voiced its support Wednesday for China's proposal.

"We think that if everybody could come to those talks, they could be useful. We view this initiative as a positive one," Bloomberg quoted Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, as saying.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Global Times

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