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article imageOp-Ed: China angry at U.S. sanctions and weapons sales to Taiwan

By Ken Hanly     Jun 30, 2017 in World
Washington - Sanctions have been imposed on the Chinese Bank of Dandong with the U.S. Treasury department accusing it of being "a conduit for illicit North Korean activity".
The Treasury claimed that the bank had facilitated "millions of dollars of transactions for companies involved in North Korea's WMD ( weapons of mass destruction) and ballistic missile programs." The U.S. Treasury said it had been "a conduit for illicit North Korean financial activity" and facilitated "millions of dollars of transactions for companies involved in North Korea's WMD (weapons of mass destruction) and ballistic missile programmes". A Chinese shipping company, Dalian Global Unity shipping has also been sanctioned for allegedly smuggling luxury goods into North Korea. Two Chinese individuals were also sanctioned for having set up front companies for North Korean entities. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman urged the U.S. to "stop wrongful actions" as they could harm cooperation between the two countries. China handles about 90 percent of North Korea's external trade and Chinese banks and companies are said to allow the North to have access to the U.S.-dominated international financial system. U.S. moves will be bound to produce a reaction against the global financial system and eventually may cause the US dollar to lose its supremacy in global trade. Anthony Ruggiero, a sanctions expert and former U.S. Treasury Department official describe the Dandong Bank as a small bank at the heart of trade between North Korea and China saying: "This is a strong message to Chinese leaders that the Trump administration will act against North Korea's sanctions evasion in China."
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at a news conference while claiming the move was not directed at China: "We will follow the money and cut off the money. This is not directed at China, this is directed at a bank, as well as individuals and entities in China." The UN has already imposed several rounds of sanctions on North Korea. The North simply regards the moves as showing that they must build up their defenses against a possible invasion more quickly.
U.S. President Donald Trump had been urging Beijing to impose tougher measures. While Beijing did take some action Trump recently said that Chinese actions had not worked out. These sanctions were announced just as the new South Korean president Moon Jae-in was meeting with Trump. Trump said that many options were being discussed on the North Korean issue and repeated his view: "The era of strategic patience with the North Korean regime has failed, many years it has failed. Frankly, that patience is over". He claimed that the U.S. was working closely with South Korea, Japan, and others on a range of diplomatic, security and economic matters to protect the U.S. and its allies from the menace of North Korea. President Moon has taken the position that sanctions should also be accompanied by attempts to reach out diplomatically to the north. China has been very much against the U.S.-installed THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Air Defense) system as is Russia. Moon objected to U.S. attempts to install more units and has suspended their installation until a probe is finished.
China is also angry at the U.S. for the sale of $1.42 billion worth of arms to Taiwan. China considers Taiwan to be part of its own territory. The Chinese embassy in Washington called on the U.S. to stop the sale and said that China had every right to be outraged. The embassy statement also said that the move went against the cooperative spirit of Trump's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping back in April. The U.S. also put China on a list of the worst offenders in human trafficking and forced labor another move that China is bound to resent.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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