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China's leaders don't like Trump's North Korea talk; but some Chinese do

Anita Kumar, McClatchy Washington Bureau on

Published in News & Features

North Korea has conducted numerous missile tests and claims to be working on creating an arsenal of nuclear weapons.

China, worried a war will bring North Korean refugees streaming into the country, has repeatedly called to resume the six-party talks between North Korea and the United States, South Korea, China, Japan and Russia. In 2005, North Korea reached an agreement with those countries to suspend its nuclear program but for years refused inspections to verify compliance. The Chinese government declined to answer questions for this story.

Ding said Chinese people support Trump -- who is suffering from record-low approval ratings at home as his administration remains mired in scandal and dysfunction. "Chinese people admire than kind of action," he said.

A newspaper, The South China Morning Post, reported this week that people asked what they thought of Trump before his visit said they liked his bluntness, style and outspoken views.

Qi Fei, a political journalist in Beijing, said social media and websites, some of the few places the Chinese can speak their minds in a country ruled by the Communist Party, are filled with people who back Trump's approach to North Korea, but don't often provide specifics about what China should do.

Qi said she's not sure whether to believe what Trump says he could do and says he may just be out to make his next deal -- perhaps to sell weapons to Japan and South Korea. "We can't solve it if he only cares about getting a deal," she said.

Trump has issued one provocative statement about North Korea after another all year.

He warned North Korea in August that he would unleash "fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before." He dubbed Kim "Rocket Man." He vowed to "totally destroy North Korea" and said Kim was "on a suicide mission."

In September, he tweeted what North Korea took as a declaration of war. "Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!" Trump wrote Sept. 23.

Danny Yang, who is studying at Beijing Foreign Studies University, described Trump's language as dramatic but said she was more than comfortable with it. "It's necessary," she said.

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