China has warned America and South Korea not to stage military acts near its coast, ahead of joint naval drills due to start on Sunday in the Yellow Sea.
The US military says the exercises, planned long before last week’s attack by North Korea, are designed to deter Pyongyang and are not aimed at China.
As the funerals were held for two South Korean marines killed when the North shelled Yeonpyeong Island, reinforcements were being sent to the area.
The government in Seoul has been accused of being indecisive in its response to the bombardment.
But as it considers changing the rules of engagement to enable a stronger reaction, China is appealing for calm from all sides.
Beijing’s foreign minister met the North Korean ambassador and spoke to his American and South Korean counterparts.
Amateur video has been released, showing the aftermath of Tuesday’s attack. On Friday the North appeared to fire more artillery shells near Yeonpyeong.
Despite the outrage it caused, Pyongyang may have succeeded on two counts: reducing the island’s civilian population, and further dividing Beijing and Washington.