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Is China backing away from censuring North Korea over the sinking of South's Cheonan warship?

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Lee Jae-won/AP

(Read caption) Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (r.) and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi confer during the trilateral summit of South Korea, Japan and China in Seogwipo on Jeju island, South Korea, Sunday. The three leaders met Sunday on the last day of a summit expected to focus on how to respond to the sinking of a South Korean warship blamed on North Korea.

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China appears to be maintaining its unwillingness to censure North Korea for its involvement in the sinking of a South Korean warship, despite earlier indications to the contrary, as a summit between China, Japan, and South Korea ended without any public statement concerning North Korea.

The Korea Times reports that Chinese Primier Wen Jiabao, Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak made a joint statement at a news conference Sunday calling for regional peace and stability. But despite efforts by Mr. Lee to convince China to join in the international condemnation of North Korea's sinking of the South Korean cruiser Cheonan, the joint statement made no mention of North Korea.

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