Reuters reports that despite a decrease in imports — due largely to the enforcement of sanctions that have frozen trade in North Korean coal — China exported so much to North Korea that the two countries’ “total trade…expanded by 10.5 percent to $2.55 billion in the first six months of the year.” A Chinese customs spokesman explained that the goods exported in larger numbers to North Korea were largely textiles, labor-intensive products, and other items not included on the United Nations embargo list.
The U.S. was not impressed. Reuters heard from two senior U.S. officials that are working to propose sanctions to “initially hit Chinese entities considered ‘low-hanging fruit,’ including smaller financial institutions and ‘shell’ companies linked to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs,” but would also “leave larger Chinese banks untouched for now.”
The Associated Press first reported on July 6 that the U.S. was seriously considering sanctions against Chinese entities in response to North Korea’s successful test of its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on July 4. Before that, the U.S. had imposed sanctions on a small Chinese bank, a Chinese shipping company, and two individuals in China to heighten pressure against North Korea in late June.
South China Sea
Opinion: China’s quest to end its century of shame / NYT (paywall)
China going beyond military tactics to assert control over South China Sea / The Mainichi
Abe’s diplomacy tested / Xi proposes ‘separation of politics, economy’ / The Japan News
Beijing has 850,000 public security volunteers watching your every move / The Beijinger
How class in China became politically incorrect / LARB Blog
‘X-Men’ actress Fan Bingbing hits back at fugitive tycoon Guo Wengui with U.S. lawsuit / SCMP