China, through statements and state-owned media has worked all year to tamp down tensions following the aggressive rhetoric but goes out of its way to not criticize by name the president of an important trading partner.
"We hope they will realize that verbal abuse alone will only increase the risk of conflicts and reduce the room for policy maneuver," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said of comments by Trump and Kim. "A war on the Korean Peninsula will have no winner."
Just this week, after Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke about launching missiles, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman called on everyone to make their words "conducive" to easing tensions. The situation "already has been very complicated, sensitive and fragile," Hua Chunying said, according to another newspaper, the China Daily.
Einar Tangen, a Beijing-based Chinese economic expert who regularly appears on Chinese state television as a commentator, said some Chinese people didn't like former President Barack Obama because he often came across as superior.
"A large number of people who like Trump say he's strong," he said. "It doesn't matter whether you are good or bad, it's 'I admire you because you are strong.'"
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