With tensions rising as North Korea defies the global community by continuing nuclear tests, and the USA reportedly readying a package of more aggressive military and diplomatic options against the regime, China has told President Donald Trump's administration that Beijing would back Pyongyang if the US strikes North Korea first, NBC News reported.
Washington and its associates said there is a growing need for China, North Korea's top ally and trading partner, to apply more pressure on its already isolated neighbour to get it to back down on its nuclear weapons and missiles programs.
During the meeting in April in palm beach, Florida, the Chinese President Xi Jinping had invited Trump to visit China. They also met on the sidelines on the G20 summit in July.
Trump is going to attend the U.S. -ASEAN summit and the East Asia summit in the Philippines in November, as well as the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam.
China's foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on Trump's potential visit. Bloomberg News first broke the news of the visit, quoting a person familiar with his plans. This is said by Japanese public broadcaster NHK cited unnamed diplomatic sources. But no specific timing has been fixed yet.
The jockeying with Beijing on the North Korea issue comes after Trump spoke with Chinese President Xi Xinping by phone last week, but failed to reach an agreement with him on a way forward.
The U.S. options to further isolate North Korea also call for a partial naval blockade, according to the Guardian.
The U.N. Security Council unanimously passed new sanctions on Monday against the North after its sixth nuclear test which it claimed was a hydrogen bomb.
Newspaper, mentioning unknown government sources, reported the meeting between Trump, Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in could take place on September 21 and would pivot on reinforcing cooperation in response to North Korean provocation.