The Chinese government on Thursday hit back at criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump who said Beijing was the cause of stalled denuclearization progress with North Korea.
Beijing rejected Washington’s statement, which Trump issued on Wednesday via social media, in turn blaming the U.S. for the current downturn in negotiations.
“Many may share the same feeling with me: no one could be better at irresponsibly distorting facts than the US. What logic is this? It’s really beyond understanding for ordinary people,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said a regular press briefing in Beijing.
“In face of the setbacks and difficulties at this point, it should try to find out the reason in itself and reflect upon that, rather than flip-flop and shift blames on others. The US tries to shift blames in one way or another, but sorry, we won’t and cannot take the blames.”
The U.S. President claimed China was exerting downward pressure on the negotiations in retaliation for an ongoing trade dispute between the two countries, which has seen both sides levy tariffs on each other’s products.
“President Donald J. Trump feels strongly that North Korea is under tremendous pressure from China because of our major trade disputes with the Chinese Government,” Trump tweeted.
“At the same time, we also know that China is providing North Korea with considerable aid, including money, fuel, fertilizer and various other commodities. This is not helpful!”
Trump added the had a good relationship with both North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping, and that he expected the conflict over trade to be resolved “in time.”
The disagreement comes as Washington continues to urge countries to enforce UN sanctions, with U.S. Treasury Department designations and a leaked UN Panel of Expert (PoE) report indicating that sanctions breaches are ongoing.
According to the PoE report seen by the AFP earlier this month, there has been an increase in prohibited ship to ship transfers of oil products, a practice which breaches multiple UN resolutions.
The DPRK “has not stopped its nuclear and missile programs and continued to defy Security Council resolutions through a massive increase in illicit ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products, as well as through transfers of coal at sea during 2018,” AFP said, quoting the report.
The U.S. Treasury Department has also sanctioned both Chinese and Russian companies in recent weeks for what it claims were breaches of UN resolutions on North Korea.
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Featured Image: Forbidden City by IQRemix on 2012-04-11 17:47:35