China’s Foreign Ministry has blasted Washington for its decision to blacklist Chinese companies allegedly involved in shipping of North Korean coal, saying it firmly opposes US interference in domestic affairs.
Speaking during a daily press briefing, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters Beijing would “safeguard” the rights and interests of all Chinese companies and individuals despite foreign attempts to punish them.
China firmly opposes unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction imposed by any country on Chinese enterprises and individuals under domestic laws
Zhao added that China is fully aware of its international obligations and takes the implementation of these UN resolutions very seriously.
On Tuesday, the US slapped sanctions on six entities and four vessels involved in the shipping of North Korean coal, an act which is prohibited following a 2017 United Nations Security Council decision to ban Pyongyang’s coal exports.
“The DPRK [North Korea] continues to circumvent the UN prohibition on the exportation of coal, a key revenue generator that helps fund its weapons of mass destruction programs,” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
The Treasury claims Chinese companies have continued to ship North Korean coal despite the UN resolution.
It also indicted Beijing for failing to act on its obligations to punish Chinese entities engaging in prohibited trading with North Korea.
“PRC [People’s Republic of China] authorities must implement and enforce the UNSCRs [United Nations Security Council Resolutions], including by taking action against companies, individuals, and vessels that engage in UNSCR-prohibited trade, including the procurement of North Korean coal,” the statement reads.
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Relations between Washington and Beijing have spiraled downwards throughout the year as both sides engage in a high-stakes war of words, reciprocal sanctions and displays of military strength.
On Tuesday, Beijing summoned the top US diplomat in China to answer for the “outrageous, unscrupulous, crazy and vile act” of sanctioning 14 officials over the Hong Kong security law.
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