China has attacked Donald Trump claiming that the United States is "the first in the world when it comes to twisting the truth" after the president accused Beijing of not controlling North Korea.
Trump retracted his suggestion that China was not helping to curb its Cold War ally, an accusation he made for the first time when he canceled a trip to North Korea by State Secretary Mike Pompeo who was going to take place this week.
"Many people, like me, feel that the United States is the first in the world when it comes to distorting the truth, and an irresponsible and absurd logic," the spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry told a regular press conference. Hua Chunying
"This logic is not easy to understand for everyone," Hua said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying (pictured in January) mocked the irresponsible and absurd logic & # 39; of the United States on Thursday
Trump's refusal to criticize North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and blame other parties for the lack of progress comes despite reports that the United States received a belligerent letter from Pyongyang, prompting Pompeo to cancel a planned trip to North Korea last weekend.
"We hope that the US can play a positive and constructive role in solving the problem like the Chinese, to solve the problem, it must see itself instead of changing the blame," Hua added.
In a speech at the White House on Wednesday, Trump said: "China makes it much more difficult in terms of our relationship with North Korea."
"Part of the North Korean problem is caused by trade disputes with China," Trump said.
But he insisted that his ties to Chinese President Xi Jinping were "great" and that he had a "fantastic relationship" with the North Korean leader, whom he met in Singapore in June.
Trump said he was not considering resuming joint military exercises on the Korean Peninsula that Pyongyang considers "provocative."
Trump says that part of the problem with North Korea is the problematic US trade relations with China
Beijing is the only main ally of Pyongyang, and the main transit country for any merchandise entering the north.
Trump said that China, angered by US trade movements, is no longer as tough as it could be with North Korea.
"We know that China is providing North Korea with considerable aid, which includes money, fuel, fertilizers and other commodities – this is not useful!" He tweeted Wednesday night.
On the subject of military exercises, which the United States suspended as a measure of & # 39; good faith & # 39; After the Trump summit with Kim, the president said that there is no reason at this time to spend large amounts of money on joint war games between the United States and South Korea. Although he added that these could be resumed if the need arose.
It came a day after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the Pentagon did not plan to suspend further military drills, before backing out on Wednesday by insisting that "no decisions had been made" on the matter.
Trump also reiterated his desire to fundamentally alter the commercial status quo between the United States and China, the two largest economies in the world.
"We know that China is providing North Korea with considerable aid, which includes money, fuel, fertilizers and other basic commodities – this is not useful!" Trump tweeted on Wednesday.
He said he needed to take a firm stand with Beijing on trade "because it was not really fair for our country," criticizing his predecessors who "closed their eyes" to the issue.
In June, Trump and Kim pledged to work to achieve the "complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula", although their joint statement lacked details on how that could be achieved.
Efforts stalled several weeks ago, and last week, Trump ordered Pompeo to cancel a planned trip to Pyongyang.
At the time, Trump said he did not believe China was helping in the denuclearization process because of Washington's tougher stance on trade.
Pompeo said on Tuesday that Washington remains ready to participate "when it is clear that President Kim is ready to fulfill the commitments he made at the Singapore summit with President Trump to completely denuclearize North Korea."
According to the Washington Post, Pyongyang sent Pompeo a belligerent letter that led him to cancel the visit, although its precise contents were not known.
Meanwhile, Vox reported that Trump at the June summit pledged to sign a declaration to end the Korean War, and now the two countries remain stuck on who will first fulfill their commitment.
On Wednesday, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters that Washington believes that denuclearization must take place before we get to other parts, confirming that it included such a statement.