IBTimes UK

China said it is highly concerned that the joint military exercises by the United States and South Korea and the North Korean rhetoric challenging the same could unstable the region.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Monday "the Korean Peninsula and China are linked by mountains and rivers and China is highly concerned about keeping stability on the peninsula," a Xinhua report showed.

The country is highly concerned about keeping stability on the Korean Peninsula and firmly opposes any move that will stir up trouble on the peninsula, he said.

The United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) kicked off the annual exercises on Monday, bringing a record number of American troops and military assets into the Korean Peninsula.

The Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea (DPRK) has issued a warning of "all-out offensive" in response to the largest-ever joint ROK-U.S. military exercises.

Hong asked the sides to "restraint instead of provocative moves."

Hong also said Russia too has a stand similar to China's on the issue.

At the China-Russia meeting on Northeast Asian security in Moscow last week, the two sides expressed grave concern over the push by the US and ROK for deploying anti-ballistic missile systems in the ROK, he said.

The move would intensify tensions, harm the strategic balance in the region and directly undermine the security of China and Russia.

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