China urges Trump not to link trade ties to North Korea issue

China urges Trump not to link trade ties to North Korea issue
Mon Jul 31, 2017 14:45:01

China says its trade ties with the US and North Korea’s nuclear program are two unrelated issues and “should not be discussed together” after President Donald Trump said Beijing was failing to contain Pyongyang despite making profits from business with Washington.

“We believe that the North Korea nuclear issue and China-US trade are two issues that are in two completely different domains,” Qian said adding that the issues “are not related, and should not be discussed together.”

Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to criticize China’s stance on North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, saying, “Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk.”

“...they [China] do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!” Trump wrote.

Trump’s tweet came following North Korea’s test of another intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which it claimed can reach all of the United States.

Beijing condemned North Korea’s new ICBM test, but at the same time, called on all sides to observe restraint in response to the test and avoid acts that could escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Qian further said, “In general, China-US trade, including mutual investment, is mutually beneficial, and both China and the United States have gained great profits from bilateral trade and investment cooperation’s,” Qian said.

The US runs the largest trade deficit with China, at approximately $347 billion per year.

Washington blames the unbalanced trade relationship on Beijing’s policies that impede access to the Chinese market. Beijing, however, says Washington’s own rules restricting high-tech US exports are partially to blame.

China has repeatedly said it is not Beijing’s responsibility to resolve the North’s issue. It has urged both Pyongyang and Washington to take steps to calm tensions and address each other’s concerns.

The US, which is strongly against the North’s nuclear and missile programs, has adopted a war-like posture towards Pyongyang and has permanent military presence in the region.

The North, which is currently under a raft of crippling United Nations sanctions over its military programs, says it will continue the programs until the US ends its hostility toward the country.

Pyongyang argues that its missile and nuclear capabilities are a deterrent against a potential US aggression.



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