BEIJING, The Chinese government on Tuesday welcomed a decision by South Korea and the United States to scale down their combined military training exercises in order to support diplomacy on North Korea.

"For now, the political resolution process involving the Korean Peninsula issue stands at a very important stage," the Chinese foreign ministry said.

In that sense, Beijing is supportive of "all active measures" that help to ease tensions on the peninsula and establish mutual trust, its spokesman, Lu Kang, said at a press briefing.

He was referring to the allies' announcement that they will scrap the two major annual joint exercises Key Resolve and Foal Eagle in a move that came days after the unsuccessful two-day summit in Hanoi between the U.S. and North Korea.

Lu reiterated Beijing's call for relevant parties to continue goodwill measures and step up efforts for the political process to resolve pending issues.

China has long proposed simultaneous halts to North Korean provocations and the allies' so-called war games, which Pyongyang regards as a rehearsal for invasion.

The South Korean and U.S. militaries will instead stage smaller "Dong Maeng" command-post practices and irregular field drills in battalions or smaller units. Dong Maeng means alliance in Korean, although there has been no formal English name announced for the exercises.

Source: Yonhap news Agency