China’s Wash­ing­ton en­voy says US should stop threats over North Korea

Business Standard - - WORLD - DAVID BRUNNSTROM & JOHN RUWITCH

China’s am­bas­sador to Wash­ing­ton on Fri­day called on the United States to re­frain from mak­ing threats over North Korea, which a day ear­lier launched an­other mis­sile over Ja­pan into the Pa­cific Ocean.

Am­bas­sador Cui Tiankai told re­porters at an em­bassy event: “Hon­estly, I think the United States should be do­ing ... much more than now, so that there’s real ef­fec­tive in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion on this is­sue.”

“They should re­frain from is­su­ing more threats. They should do more to find ef­fec­tive ways to re­sume di­a­logue and ne­go­ti­a­tion,” he said.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and oth­ers in the United States and be­yond have urged China to in­crease diplo­matic and economic pres­sure on its Com­mu­nist ally to help re­solve the stand­off over North Korea’s weapons pro­grammes.

China fought along­side North Korea dur­ing the 1950-53 Korean War, in which Chi­nese leader Mao Ze­dong lost his el­dest son, and Bei­jing has long been Py­ongyang’s chief ally and pri­mary trade part­ner.

But the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has pushed back against the no­tion that it has any con­trol over Py­ongyang, and says it is the United States that should be do­ing more.

Trump tweeted ear­lier this month that the United States was con­sid­er­ing halt­ing trade with coun­tries do­ing busi­ness with North Korea.

Cui on Fri­day cau­tioned against putting China-US trade on the ta­ble.

“Ef­forts to un­der­mine Sino-U.S. trade, or even slap­ping sanc­tions on China, I think would be off-tar­get,” the Chi­nese state news agency Xin­hua quoted Cui as say­ing on Fri­day at a Chi­nese Na­tional Day re­cep­tion.

“If some­one were to pres­sure China or im­pose sanc­tions on China over the DPRK, it would not be sup­ported by many US cit­i­zens,” Cui said, re­fer­ring to North Korea by the acro­nym for its of­fi­cial name, Demo­cratic People’s Repub­lic of Korea.

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