China calls for ‘self-restraint’ as U.S. deploys warships near Korea

U.S. warship [Photo Credit: Vivere Milano]

China on Monday called on all parties to “show self-restraint” and avoid worsening the situation, two days after a group of U.S. warships were ordered to change course and head to the waters off the Korean peninsula.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Hua Chunying told a press briefing when asked about China’s position on the deployment of the U.S. warships

“China is paying close attention to the development of the situation in the Korean peninsula.

“Under the current situation, each party should show self-restraint and not do anything that would cause the situation to escalate,’’ she said.

The warships include the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, two guided-missile destroyers and a guided-missile cruiser.

On Saturday, the navy strike group cancelled a trip to Australia and headed from Singapore to the waters off Korea, as part of the U.S. response to North Korea’s recent missile launches.

“The order to change course was a prudent measure to maintain readiness and presence in the Western Pacific,” Dave Benham, a spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Command, said according to the website Defense News.

“North Korea continues to be a threat due to its reckless, irresponsible, and destabilizing programme of missile tests and pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability,’’ Mr. Benham said.

North Korea launched a ballistic missile into the East China Sea recently ahead of a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

Messrs. Trump and Xi discussed the North Korean nuclear issue in their talks at the Mar-a-Lago resort. (dpa/NAN)

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