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China's Xi urges restraint on N. Korea in call to Duterte

Associated Press logo Associated Press 4/05/2017
In this Wednesday, May 3, 2017 photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, waves to teachers and students as he visits the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing. Xi has discussed North Korea during a phone call with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who referred to Beijing's important role in promoting peace on the Korean Peninsula. (Ding Lin/Xinhua via AP) © The Associated Press In this Wednesday, May 3, 2017 photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, waves to teachers and students as he visits the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing. Xi has discussed North Korea during a phone call with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who referred to Beijing's important role in promoting peace on the Korean Peninsula. (Ding Lin/Xinhua via AP)

MANILA, Philippines — Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed North Korea during a phone call with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who referred to Beijing's important role in promoting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

China's state-run Xinhua News Agency quoted Xi as urging all parties to exercise restraint and return to dialogue and negotiations in realizing a denuclearized peninsula.

In Manila, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella told reporters that Duterte referred to China's important role in promoting peace on the Korean Peninsula during Wednesday's call in a bid to encourage Beijing to broker peace in the region.

The U.S. has been pressuring China to do more to stop Pyongyang from further missile and nuclear tests.

Despite having competing territorial claims in the South China Sea, Duterte has said he prefers to forge closer ties with Beijing.

Xinhua quoted Xi as saying the Philippines and China are deepening political mutual trust, carrying out cooperation in various fields, and have set up a channel of dialogue and consultation on the South China Sea.

Xi's call came after President Donald Trump called Duterte on Saturday at the close of a summit of Southeast Asian leaders hosted by Duterte, and expressed Washington's commitment to their treaty alliance.

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