Ja­pan sanc­tions hurt China ties

Tokyo pe­nal­izes 4 Chi­nese firms, one per­son over North Korea trade

Global Times - Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - By Liu Xin

China said on Fri­day that Ja­pan’s sanc­tions on a num­ber of com­pa­nies and in­di­vid­u­als linked to trad­ing with North Korea, which in­volved four Chi­nese com­pa­nies and one per­son, have se­verely dam­aged China’s in­ter­ests and sovereignty, and will cre­ate new po­lit­i­cal ob­sta­cles to China-Ja­pan ties.

“China is strongly dis­sat­is­fied with and op­poses Ja­pan’s uni­lat­eral ac­tions,” Chi­nese for­eign min­istry spokesper­son Hua Chun­y­ing told a press brief­ing on Fri­day.

China has fully im­ple­mented UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil sanc­tions on North Korea and op­poses uni­lat­eral sanc­tions from any coun­try, es­pe­cially those tar­get­ing Chi­nese com­pa­nies or in­di­vid­u­als, Hua said.

Ja­pan’s Cab­i­net on Fri­day ap­proved the im­po­si­tion of new sanc­tions on a num­ber of com­pa­nies and in­di­vid­u­als from China, Namibia and North Korea in a bid to fur­ther pres­sure Py­ongyang over its nu­clear and bal­lis­tic mis­sile pro­grams, Ky­odo News re­ported.

Tokyo iden­ti­fied four Chi­nese com­pa­nies and two Namib­ian firms, as well as one Chi­nese in­di­vid­ual and a North Korean in­di­vid­ual as new tar­gets of sanc­tions, ac­cord­ing to Ky­odo News.

Hua said that Ja­pan’s move has se­verely dam­aged China’s in­ter­ests and ju­di­cial sovereignty and will cre­ate new po­lit­i­cal ob­sta­cles to Chi­naJa­pan ties.

“China is ask­ing Ja­pan to stop its wrong moves, and Ja­pan should shoul­der the con­se­quences if it in­sists on do­ing so,” Hua said.

“Ja­pan’s sanc­tions are in step with the US and would neg­a­tively in­flu­ence the re­la­tions be­tween China and Ja­pan,” Zhou Yong­sheng, a pro­fes­sor at the China For­eign Af­fairs Univer­sity’s In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions, told the Global Times on Fri­day.

This year marks the 45th an­niver­sary of the nor­mal­iza­tion of China-Ja­pan re­la­tions. The two coun­tries re­stored diplo­matic re­la­tions in 1972 after reach­ing an im­por­tant con­sen­sus on prop­erly han­dling his­tory, Tai­wan ques­tion, the Diaoyu Is­lands and other is­sues.

The US Trea­sury Depart­ment slapped eco­nomic sanc­tions on 10 com­pa­nies and six peo­ple from China and Rus­sia on Tues­day, claim­ing that the mea­sures are aimed at stop­ping them from do­ing busi­ness with North Korea, which fun­nels the money it re­ceives to its nu­clear and mis­sile pro­grams, Reuters re­ported.

“By im­pos­ing the sanc­tions, Ja­pan is co­op­er­at­ing with the US and fur­ther ce­ment­ing the US-Ja­pan al­liance,” Lü Yaodong, di­rec­tor of the Depart­ment of Ja­panese Diplo­macy at the In­sti­tute of Ja­panese Stud­ies of the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sci­ences, told the Global Times on Fri­day.

Lü said that pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ences have shown that in­stead of solv­ing the Korean Penin­sula nu­clear is­sue, uni­lat­eral sanc­tions and mil­i­tary drills have wors­ened the sit­u­a­tion.

The US-Ja­pan al­liance is not lead­ing ef­forts to main­tain peace as they have claimed, and is af­fect­ing re­gional sta­bil­ity, Lü said.

“China has al­ways op­posed any uni­lat­eral ac­tion out­side of UN res­o­lu­tions, and urges all par­ties to ex­er­cise re­straint, in­stead of im­pos­ing sanc­tions and adding to mil­i­tary threats,” Lü said, adding that China be­lieves all par­ties should re­turn to the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble as the most prac­ti­ca­ble way of re­solv­ing the Korean Penin­sula is­sue.

The UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil on Au­gust 5 passed a res­o­lu­tion im­pos­ing new sanc­tions on North Korea for its con­tin­ued in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile tests. The lat­est sanc­tions slashed North Korea’s an­nual ex­port rev­enue of $3 bil­lion by more than a third, CNN re­ported.

And the US is us­ing the Korean Penin­sula nu­clear is­sue as an ex­cuse to in­crease its mil­i­tary pres­ence in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion, and Ja­pan will do so as well, Lü said, not­ing that Ja­pan has in­creased its 2018 mil­i­tary bud­get.

The Ja­panese De­fense Min­istry plans to seek a bud­get of 5.26 tril­lion yen ($48.1 bil­lion) for fis­cal year 2018 to strengthen its bal­lis­tic mis­sile de­fense ca­pa­bil­i­ties, Ja­panese news­pa­per The Mainichi re­ported on Wed­nes­day.

“Ja­pan should be more pru­dent in deal­ing with the Korean Penin­sula is­sue. In­stead of ig­nor­ing its neigh­bors’ po­si­tions, it should be re­spon­si­ble for safe­guard­ing re­gional sta­bil­ity,” Lü said.

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