The United States should take its share of responsibility for North Korea issues instead of leaving it all to China, a senior Chinese diplomat said.

Asked whether Beijing was losing its

ability to rein in Pyongyang, Fu Ying, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the National People’s Congress and former Deputy Foreign Minister, said China believed it should not control – nor be controlled by – any country.

The question was raised during a discussion at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, which was attended by former prime minister of Australia Kevin Rudd and Singapore’s Minister of Defence Ng Eng Hen.

Fu said China opposed resolving the North Korea nuclear issues through violence or any other means that would put China’s national security at risk.

“China will fulfil its own responsibility, but cannot replace the share of the US. The US should not always think about passing the problem to China,” quoted her as saying.

“On the North Korea nuclear issue, the US has, on one hand, asked for cooperation from China but on the other hand, is discussing with its allies the deployment of THAAD,” Fu said, referring to Terminal High Altitude Area Defence, the anti-ballistic missile system the US is considering deploying in South Korea. “This makes the Chinese confused and furious.”

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Fu’s comments came one day after foreign minister Wang Yi (王毅) told US counterpart John Kerry that China opposed the possible deployment of the THAAD system in South Korea. Wang said China would back a UN Security Council resolution to make Pyongyang “pay the necessary price” for a recent rocket launch.

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South Korea and the US are expected to begin talks on deploying the system this week as a response to the rocket launch by North Korea on February 7. That launch came one month after Pyongyang claimed it had successfully carried out its first underground test of a hydrogen bomb.

“This is a simple fact that has been misunderstood in the past – that North Korea is a sovereign state that can hardly be controlled by another country,” Jilin University international relations professor Sun Xingjie said.

“Every relevant country should take its own responsibility. If China’s policy over North Korea is called a failure, the policies of all relevant countries, including the US, are failures because all these efforts failed to curb its nuclear development.”

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