As the United States pushes North Korea toward denuclearization, it should focus more on the Chinese lifeline to this rogue regime. An ally and neighbor of North Korea, China is a key player in the United States’ two-track strategy to convince Pyongyang to give up its nuclear arsenal of weapons: maximum financial pressure and diplomatic outreach. The United States should call out China for its insidious enabling of North Korea and point to the Kim regime’s money trails through China.
The overwhelming volume of North Korean commerce flows through China. Conversely, trade with North Korea is an important source of revenue for many Chinese cities bordering North Korea. In a region that primarily relies on coal and manufacturing, both local firms and local government officials rely on North Korean trade to meet growth targets. Forty percent of trade in Dandong, a Chinese border city, comes from North Korea, which explains why so many Dandong-based companies have subsequently been sanctioned for dealing with North Korea in violation of UN and U.S. laws.
Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development Company, for example, transacted over $500 million worth of business with North Korea before being sanctioned by the United States in September 2016. This kind of business is replicated throughout the provinces of Liaoning and neighboring Jilin. In so doing, numerous Chinese businesses are reportedly defying UN Security Council Resolutions.
Read the full article in The National Interest.
More from CNAS
CommentaryWhen and Why China Might—or Might Not—Attack Taiwan
Washington should continue to emphasize to Beijing the costs of aggression and the value of the status quo for China, the region, and the world...
By Jacob Stokes
VideoWhy China’s eventual aims with Taiwan could have a major global financial and economic impact
On CNBC’s Worldwide Exchange, Martijn Rasser discusses the rise in tensions between China and Taiwan, potential responses by the U.S. and G-7 countries, and whether Beijing co...
By Martijn Rasser
ReportsSanctions by the Numbers
Cyberattacks pose a serious threat to U.S. national security and the integrity of the global commerce and financial system, especially when state-sponsored actors conduct and/...
By Jason Bartlett & Megan Ophel
CommentaryChina and Russia’s Dangerous Convergence
Any effort to address either Russia’s or China’s destabilizing behavior must now account for the two countries’ deepening partnership....
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor & David Shullman