The Chinese Foreign Ministry still opposes a U.S. plan to dispatch the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier George Washington to the West Sea to take part in anti-submarine drills with Korea there, though the tone has softened.
"China is urging the parties concerned to take its concerns" about the U.S. aircraft carrier's deployment "into consideration seriously and sincerely," the official Xinhua news agency on Saturday quoted ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu as saying. The remark was posted on the ministry's website Friday.
Jiang did not use the phrase "resolutely opposes," which the ministry had often reeled off before, because the ministry has "already expressed China's clear and firm position to the parties concerned several times."
China apparently does not like the idea of a massive U.S. military presence on its doorstep. Last month, Korea and the U.S. moved a massive joint exercise from the West to the East Sea to avoid upsetting Beijing.