US Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in China on the second leg of his tour of Asia, which comes amid escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula.
On Saturday, Kerry flew to Beijing from South Korea, where he held talks with South Korean President Park Geun-Hye a day earlier.
Kerry will meet Chinese officials including Foreign Minister Wang Yi in a bid to seek China’s influence to ease tensions in the Korean Peninsula.
“China has an enormous ability to help make a difference here, and I hope that in our conversations when I get there that we’ll be able to lay out a path ahead that can defuse this tension,” Kerry said while he was in South Korea.
He added that no other nation in the world “has as close a relationship or as significant an impact on the DPRK (North Korea) than China.”
On April 7, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned against “chaos” in Asia, noting that “no one should be allowed to throw a region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish gain.”
“Stability in Asia now faces new challenges as hot spot issues keep emerging and both traditional and non-traditional security threats exist,” the Chinese president added.
The Korean Peninsula has been experiencing a cycle of aggressive military rhetoric following the participation of nuclear-capable US B-52s and B-2 stealth bombers in recent joint military drills with South Korea.
On April 9, Pyongyang urged all foreign institutions, enterprises, and tourists in South Korea to leave the country, warning that the Korean Peninsula was nearing “thermonuclear war.”
North Korea declared on March 30 that it was in a “state of war” with South Korea. Pyongyang warned that if Washington and Seoul launched a preemptive attack, the conflict would “not be limited to a local war, but develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war.”