China is getting serious about cracking down on North Korea with punishing economic sanctions — or at least it’s trying to make it look that way.
This week China abruptly cut off seafood imports from North Korea in accordance with new UN Security council sanctions intended to discourage North Korea from advancing its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. And it did so with such speed and intensity that it’s causing an uproar among Chinese seafood traders whose businesses are suffering from the move.
Protests have spread across the Northeastern Chinese city of Hunchun, which hosts hundreds of seafood processing plants and relies almost entirely on food imported from North Korea. Dozens of Chinese seafood importers demonstrated in the streets this week carrying red banners with slogans such as “Money earned from our blood and sweat is sitting on the bridge. Please, customs, let us go” and “Sanction North Korea, as long as you protect Chinese citizens from losses.” (Hopefully they’re catchier in the original Chinese.)
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