China At­tacks US Threat to Curb Trade Be­cause of North Korea Link

The Jewish Voice - - INTERNATIONAL - By: Wal­ter Me­tuth

China has at­tacked Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump's threat to halt trade with any coun­try do­ing busi­ness with North Korea af­ter its lat­est nu­clear test, say­ing it en­dan­gered vast trade relations be­tween Wash­ing­ton and Bei­jing.

For­eign min­istry spokesman Geng Shuang said Mon­day, “What is def­i­nitely un­ac­cept­able to us is that on the one hand we work so hard to peace­fully re­solve this is­sue [of North Korea's nu­clear weapons de­vel­op­ment], but on the other hand our own in­ter­ests are sub­ject to sanc­tions and jeop­ar­dized. This is nei­ther ob­jec­tive nor fair."

Trade im­pact

Af­ter Py­ongyang det­o­nated its big­gest nu­clear bomb in an un­der­ground test Sun­day, Trump said he was con­sid­er­ing sev­eral op­tions in re­sponse, in­clud­ing cut­ting off trade with coun­tries that do busi­ness with North Korea. That could quickly hin­der the nearly $650 bil­lion in an­nual trade be­tween the United States and China, the world's two big­gest economies, be­cause Bei­jing is North Korea's sole ma­jor ally and its big­gest trad­ing part­ner.

Whether Trump plans to carry out his eco­nomic threat is un­clear as the United States and its al­lies press the U.N. Se­cu­rity Council to take new ac­tion against Py­ongyang.

Nikki Ha­ley, the Amer­i­can am­bas­sador to the U.N., told the council Mon­day, "The time has come to ex­haust all of our diplo­matic means be­fore it's too late. We must now adopt the strong­est pos­si­ble mea­sures."

Geng de­clined to say what mea­sures Bei­jing might sup­port against Py­ongyang, say­ing it would de­pend on dis­cus­sions among council mem­bers. He said China, as one of five per­ma­nent Se­cu­rity Council mem­bers with power to veto U.N. ac­tions, would par­tic­i­pate in a "re­spon­si­ble and con­struc­tive way."

Aus­tralia also critized

Geng also voiced frus­tra­tion at Aus­tralian Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull’s re­mark that Bei­jing had a re­spon­si­bil­ity to in­flu­ence North Korea be­cause it is North Korea’s main trad­ing part­ner.

“We keep stress­ing that we can­not solely rely on China to re­solve this is­sue,” Geng said. “We need all par­ties to work in the same di­rec­tion.”

At the United Na­tions, Chi­nese Am­bas­sador Liu Jieyi urged North Korea to "stop tak­ing ac­tions that are wrong." Bei­jing said North Korea is "de­te­ri­o­rat­ing the sit­u­a­tion and not in line with its own in­ter­ests ei­ther." He said Py­ongyang

should "truly re­turn to the track of re­solv­ing the is­sue through di­a­logue."

Liu said all par­ties should "se­ri­ously con­sider" Bei­jing's pro­posal for a joint sus­pen­sion of Py­ongyang's bal­lis­tic mis­sile and nu­clear pro­grams and mil­i­tary drills by the United States and South Korea. The United States has re­jected an end to the mil­i­tary ex­er­cises.

For­eign min­istry spokesman Geng Shuang said Mon­day, “What is def­i­nitely un­ac­cept­able to us is that on the one hand we work so hard to peace­fully re­solve this is­sue [of North Korea's nu­clear weapons de­vel­op­ment], but on the other hand our own in­ter­ests are sub­ject to sanc­tions and jeop­ar­dized. This is nei­ther ob­jec­tive nor fair."

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