China “should make it clear” it will stay neutral if North Korea launches missiles that threaten US soil first and the US retaliates, says China’s Global Times.

But if the US and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so, according to an editorial published by newspaper.

Tanjug said, citing a Reuters report, that US President Donald Trump has sharpened his rhetoric toward North Korea, warning the country not to even consider “attacking” the US Pacific island of Guam, while China, North Korea’s most important ally and trade partner, has several times called for restraint and peace in this crisis.

Beijing has also expressed its dissatisfaction with North Korea’s nuclear tests, but also with the behavior of South Korea and the US, whom it believes are ramping up tensions.

“Beijing is not able to persuade Washington or Pyongyang to back down at this time. It needs to make clear its stance to all sides and make them understand that when their actions jeopardize China’s interests, China will respond with a firm hand,” said the op-ed in “the state-run daily published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily.”

“The Korean Peninsula is where the strategic interests of all sides converge, and no side should try to be the absolute dominator of the region. China will”firmly resist any side which wants to change the status quo of the areas where China’s interests are concerned,” the article said.