Japan sanctions hurt China ties
Tokyo penalizes 4 Chinese firms, one person over North Korea trade
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.