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2018-03-09 HKT 16:35
President Xi Jinping has talked to his US counterpart, Donald Trump, welcoming news of a planned summit with North Korea and also discussed Sino-US relations, the official news agency reported on Friday.
During a visit to the White House on Thursday, South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong announced the first ever meeting between a US president and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, which he said would take place by the end of May.
Xinhua reported that Xi told Trump by telephone that he appreciates the US president's desire to resolve the issue politically, and hoped that the United States and North Korea will start talks as soon as possible.
Xinhua quoted Xi as saying that he hoped that all parties concerned would avoid doing anything which might affect or interfere with the improving situation on the Korean Peninsula.
The news agency added that that Xi also told Trump that China and the United States should focus on cooperation, control differences, promote win-win economic cooperation, and push for new advancement of bilateral relations.
Under pressure from Trump, Beijing has backed a series of United Nations sanctions against North Korea, sending relations between the Cold War-era allies to a new low.
For its part, China has long pushed for the US to meet North Korea, saying the two sides need to iron out their disagreements face to face.
In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also hailed the proposed meeting.
"We do hope that this meeting is going to take place," Lavrov said after talks at the African Union's headquarters in the Ethiopian capital. "Certainly, it is required to normalise the situation around the Korean peninsula."
After visiting Washington, Chung will head to China and Russia.
Japan, a key regional ally, also hailed the announcement. (Additional reporting by AFP)
Last updated: 2018-03-10 HKT 01:13