Has China asked the Trump administration to sack Head of US Pacific Command Adm Harry Harris (c)? Photo: Wikipedia Commons

The Japan Times caught our attention over the weekend with a report that China has urged the US to fire head of the US Pacific Command Admiral Harry Harris in exchange for China’s cooperation pressuring North Korea.

Citing a single source close to US-China ties, the report said the request was made by “Chinese leadership headed by President Xi Jinping,” and was conveyed by China’s ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai.

The Diplomat has already pounced on the possible development, arguing that, if true, it is evidence Trump handed China tremendous leverage over bilateral issues by prioritizing North Korea over all else.

But Chinese state media outlet Global Times dismissed the claims as “complete nonsense” in an editorial published Monday, citing foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang.

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