A "conflict could break out at any moment" over North Korea, China's foreign minister Wang Yi said on Friday, warning there would be "no winner" in any war, as tensions soar with the US.
"Dialogue is the only possible solution," he said during a joint press conference with his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault in Beijing, and added that the party provoking conflict over Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) will "pay the price."
With a US aircraft carrier group steaming to the area as a show of force, tensions in the Korean peninsula have increased this week. The US strike force is scheduled to be joined by Japanese ships.
US President Donald Trump has also stepped up his rhetoric against North Korea, saying that the US will solve the North Korea problem with or without China.
He also accused the DPRK of "looking for trouble."
On Tuesday, North Korea warned of a nuclear attack on the United States at any sign of American aggression. The DPRK also criticised the Trump administration for its strike on Syria earlier this week.
Pyongyang's warning comes a day after satellite images of North Korea showed increased activity around sites previously used for launch tests.
The North is technically at war with the United States and South Korea after the Korean War ended in 1953 in a truce and not a peace treaty.
South Korea said on Thursday it believed it would be consulted by the United States before any possible preemptive US strike against Pyongyang.
China, North Korea's biggest ally, has also urged Pyongyang to halt its nuclear program in exchange for greater protection from Beijing.