Chinese President Xi Jinping has rebuked South Korea for agreeing to let US forces deploy an advanced missile system in the South Asian country.
Xi warned his visiting counterpart Park Geun-hye that US military deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system in South Korea could lead to instability and conflicts, Xinhua news agency said on Monday.
"Mishandling the issue is not conducive to strategic stability in the region, and could intensify conflicts," Xi said on the sideline of the G20 summit in Hangzhou.
The Chinese leader also reiterated Beijing’s commitment to international peace and stability, especially on the Korean Peninsula.
Xi said China is dedicated to realizing denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula but stressed that relevant issues needed to be resolved through dialog and consultation in order to establish long-term peace and stability.
Xi reminded Park that China and North Korea were "close neighbors with broad common interests" who shared long-term interests in their common development and regional peace, Xinhua reported.
The Chinese president also hailed the "leapfrog development" of bilateral relations between Beijing and Seoul, saying it has benefited the people on both sides since the two countries began diplomatic relations 24 years ago.
"China is willing to work with the ROK (Republic of Korea) to better protect and advance their hard-won ties," Xi said, adding both sides must strive to "expand cooperative and positive elements and put lid on negative ones."
For her part, the South Korean president blamed China's ally, North Korea, for straining of bilateral relations with China. Park claimed North Korea's actions had been detrimental to the prospects of peace and stability in the region.
North Korea has conducted a series of military technology tests this year, including a fourth nuclear test in January, to counter what it describes as joint US and South Korean “provocations” in the region.
The US is a close ally of South Korea and the two countries hold joint annual military exercises every year.