According to the Thursday’s information from Chinese officials, China’s trade volume with sanctioned North Korea was increased by 10% from January to June (compared to the previous year). This information indicated that Beijing was not effectively influenced by the United Nations’ pressure.
Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump criticized trading relations between North Korea and China, and stated that its volume rose by almost 40% in the first quarter. Moreover, Beijing’s help to contradict the threat from North Korea is questionable. China reacted to this with the statements that it fully supported the sanctions on nuclear-armed North Korea under United Nations’ jurisdiction, but trading relations were not covered by their regulations.
Chinese customs spokesman Huang Songping informed during the briefing that a total trade between North Korea and China was increased by 10.5% and reached the mark of $2.55 billion during the first half of 2017. Import rates from North Korea fell by 13.2% and reached the level of $880 million for the same period, while exports rose by 29.1% to $1.67 billion.
The spokesmen added that among exported goods were textile products and other traditional and labor-intensive goods which were not included into the U.S. embargo list. China and North Korea are close neighbors, which are trying to maintain normal business relations by providing people with non-sanctioned goods. Huang pointed that the trade growth could not indicate that China had failed to enforce the UN resolutions. Imports from North Korea were falling down since March, while China suspended the imports of coal to the country and continued iron ore imports strictly according to the UN regulations.
Meanwhile, the overall trade with North Korea rose by more than 12% in June compared to the previous month, and reached the volume of $499 million. For the same month, the trade between China and UN demonstrated surplus of $25.4-billion, while in May this number was lower – $22.0 billion. The trade surplus between UN and China is the biggest since October 2015.
The general data of the previous periods indicated that trade between two countries was showing a continuous decline during 2015-2016.