Saturday, 22 July, 2017

China envoy says North Korea trade growth picture 'distorted'

China defends imports of North Korean iron ore India Tv China defends imports of North Korean iron ore
Howard Terry | 14 July, 2017, 00:22

China, the world's largest coal buyer, imported 21.6 million tonnes of coal in June, down from a month ago, preliminary customs data showed on Thursday.

Notably, the total volume of imports and exports between China and North Korea also increased - by 10.5 percent year-on-year.

China's defense of the trades comes after Trump has repeatedly pressed Chinese President Xi Jinping about adding additional pressure to stop the North's pursuit of a nuclear weapon.

But, after North Korea launched a missile technically capable of reaching the United States last week, Trump suggested he'd given up on China.

Notably, China's coal imports from North Korea dropped precipitously, with only 2.7 million tons being shipped in the first half of 2017, down 75 percent from 2016.

Washington says the exercises are needed to maintain defenses against North Korea and US officials say Beijing could face USA economic and trade pressure unless it does more to rein in North Korea.

"Trade between China and North Korea grew nearly 40% in the first quarter".

China announced in February the suspension of coal imports from the North, striking a blow at a major source of income for the hermit state.

One industry analyst said that looking forward, export growth in China is expected to slow due to uncertainties in demand because of the rising risks geopolitically and the stronger yuan and USA dollar rate of exchange during the first six months of the year.

"Simple accumulated data can not be used as evidence to question China's severe attitude in carrying out UN Security Council resolutions", Huang told a news briefing.

Such purchases are permitted under the sanctions and generate no revenue for nuclear development, said a foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang."We will continue to strictly and earnestly implement the North Korea-related Security Council resolution in its entirety", said Geng at a regular news briefing. Imports have fallen since March, when they declined 36.5 percent, he said.

"But we are sceptical that the current pace of imports can be sustained for much longer given the increasing headwinds to China's economy from policy tightening", the economist added.

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