Feb 25, 2018
China responded angrily Saturday to new sanctions the United States imposed on North Korea, maintaining they were counterproductive to efforts to halt Pyongyang’s nuclear and long-range missile development programs.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Friday what he called the “largest ever” set of sanctions against North Korea and threatened a “phase two” if the measures weren’t effective.
The sanctions target one person, 27 companies and 28 ships registered in China and seven other countries with the intent of eliminating North Korea’s illicit shipping and trade. They block assets held by the companies in the U.S. and prohibit U.S. citizens from interacting with them.
China’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying Beijing “resolutely opposes” the U.S. for “enacting unilateral sanctions” and vowed to “seriously handle” the issue in accordance with the law. The ministry also demanded that the U.S. immediately lift the sanctions “to avoid harming bilateral cooperation in the relevant area.”
Saturday’s statement was China’s latest in a series of denunciations of any sanctions against North Korea not imposed within the framework of the United Nations.
China, traditionally North Korea’s closest ally, insists it has fully enforced existing sanctions against Pyongyang. China’s trade with North Korea in January fell to its lowest level in nearly four years, the latest indication China has maintained pressure on the isolated country.