Top US diplomat Tillerson to travel to China this week
01 October, 2017, 02:27 | Author: Wade Massey
"Our task now is to hold China and others to these internationally binding obligations and to convince China's leaders to more fully exert their decisive leverage over North Korea", Thornton said, emphasizing that sanctions implementation would be the key to "really upping the pressure on the Kim regime".
Speaking during a Senate hearing on the effectiveness of sanctions in getting the North to give up its nuclear weapons program, Susan Thornton, acting assistant secretary of state for Asian and Pacific affairs, said that Beijing was making progress. Official Chinese customs data shows the country stuck to that pledge until August, when it imported 1.64 million tons of coal, worth about $138 million, from its smaller neighbor.
"He would also be discussing trade and investment with the Chinese leadership, and Trump's November visit".
"But certainly North Korea will be on the table for discussion", Tillerson told reporters Wednesday.
China may be seeking an explanation from Tillerson regarding Trump's recent tweets, including one warning North Korea "they won't be around much longer", The New York Times reported.
Tillerson's visit to China reaffirms the Administration's commitment to further broaden and enhance USA economic and security interests in the Asia-Pacific region. "It makes me question not just why coal imports appear to be happening again but what was the real volume of imports in the months it reported there were none".
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The visit comes during the escalating rhetoric between the US and North Korea.
Anthony Ruggiero, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said the development "shows that China is not a reliable partner".
On Thursday, the Ministry of Commerce defended its recent imports of North Korean coal as permitted by United Nations sanctions. It also banned exports of iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood.
The imports are "in line with the (UN) resolution", Gao said. Beijing sought to resolve the lingering issue of the leftover coal from February by letting it enter the country in August, according to Zhao.
China's Ministry of Commerce said Saturday it will limit exports of refined petroleum products to North Korea from October 1 and immediately ban exports of condensates and liquefied natural gas, as well as imports of textiles, in compliance with the United Nations sanctions.
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