December 02, 2010 12:15
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said on Wednesday that Beijing will not side with either Seoul or Pyongyang on the matter of North Korea's shelling of Yeonpyeong Island, China's state-run news agency Xinhua reported.
"As a responsible country, China decides its position based on the merits of each case and does not seek to protect any side," Yang said in a speech at an international forum in Beijing.
The statement reiterates China's initial stance that all parties concerned should keep calm and exercise restraint over the situation, despite international pressure on China to rein in North Korea.
Meanwhile, according U.S. diplomatic cables revealed by WikiLeaks, China asked the U.S. whether it would be willing to accept North Korea's possession of nuclear arms.
In October 2009, China's then Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei met with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg and asked him whether Washington could tolerate North Korea's nuclear weapons program, the cables show. Steinberg objected to the idea.
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