Photo: China is calling for calm but has made its position clear depending on which nation strikes first. (AP: Ah Young-Joon)
China has consistently called for careful dialogue and negotiation to defuse the nuclear standoff between North Korea and the United States.
- China says it will oppose any attempt at regime change in North Korea but will remain neutral if the nation strikes America first
- China is increasingly frustrated with US calls for it to do more
- Locals in Beijing express their fear and frustrations as tensions escalate between the US and North Korea
China has again reiterated its calls for calm and has warned US President Donald Trump not to "play with fire" as the war of words intensifies.
China's state-run media has clarified the nation's position on any potential conflict.
In an editorial published by the Communist Party-run Global Times, the Communist Party said it will oppose any attempt at regime change in North Korea but will remain neutral if North Korea strikes America first.
The influential newspaper stated China "will firmly resist any side which wants to change the status quo of the areas where China's interests are concerned".
"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," it said.
Video: Donald Trump warns North Korea should be 'very, very nervous' (ABC News)
North Korea not China's top priorityChina is increasingly becoming frustrated with calls from Washington for it to do more.
Last week it backed the toughest UN sanctions yet against North Korea, which could cost Kim Jong-Un's regime $1 billion.
China says the US Government has rejected its plan of "suspension for suspension" to resolve the conflict.
It would mean the US would stop it military exercises with South Korea in return for a halt of North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
The view from Beijing is very different.
North Korea is not their top strategic concern.
Beijing sees dissent in Tibet and from the Uighur Muslims in Western China and also a resurgent nationalism in Taiwan as bigger security threats.
One of its top military priorities is to secure control of the South China Sea — the disputed waterway where much of the world's trade passes through.
People in the streets of Beijing want the US to stop its threats and sit down and talk.
'I don't want to see a war'
"As a student, I don't want to see a war, or any threats for launching missiles or nukes, as to how to soften the situation, both sides don't want to compromise, they claim it's not their own problem, they criticise each other," Liang Xin said.
"It is impossible for North Korea to make one step back, because North Korea wants to maintain its ability for self-defence, however the US says it's out of control.
"I think all sides should negotiate but I'm not sure how they should do it now."
'They have to talk'
"I think both sides have their standpoints, we can't simply say which side is right, because they consider the issue from their own angles," Hou Siyi said.
"The countries and their policies are different, we can't use one country's policy to constrain another country."They have to talk."
The Chinese say Mr Trump has to take a large part of the blame for the current tensions and that his "fire and fury" remarks will only encourage North Korea to speed up its nuclear weapons program.
'We shouldn't help the US'
The older generation in Beijing point out that US has a history of destruction on the Korean Peninsula.
During the Korean War of 1950 to 1953 the North was flattened, more bombs were dropping on the Peninsula than the US dropped on Japan during World War II.
"The US is a big country and it shouldn't bully smaller countries, the issue should be settled peacefully," Li Xuejun said.
"Why should China help the US? I don't think [it should be] so. America used to bully us in the past so we shouldn't help them now."China lost thousands of troops defending Korea we have history with them. But honestly we care more about the health of the economy and social issues like health than this."
'It's not good for China'
"America is talking big but I think there is going to be little impact. But I can tell you if it escalates it's not good for China and for our border security," Ji Gang said.
"China will not allow this to happen so it will make the right moves to secure its own interests."Many in the US insist China does have the ability to stop North Korea as it provides 90 per cent of its trade and aid and they're not sure whether China will enforce the new tougher UN sanctions.