Visitors walk across the Yalu River Broken Bridge, right, next to the Friendship Bridge connecting China and North Korea in Dandong, Northeast China's Liaoning Province in September 2017. Photo: IC
China is fulfilling its responsibility and carrying out decisions made by the United Nations and China opposes the US' "long-arm jurisdiction" over Chinese entities and individuals, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday.
The remark was made as response to the latest sanctions made by the US on Chinese companies trading with North Korea.
If other parties want to have cooperation with China on this issue, they could share intelligence with China, Lu Kang, ministry spokesman told the briefing.
Lu added they can work with China with the aim of appropriately handling the issue.
Three companies in Dandong, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, have been put on a new sanctions list by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Treasury Department, the authority announced on Tuesday. The list also includes one individual, 10 other entities and 20 vessels, according to a press briefing sent to the Global Times.
"As North Korea continues to threaten international peace and security, we are steadfast in our determination to maximize economic pressure to isolate it from outside sources of trade and revenue while exposing its evasive tactics," US Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin was quoted as saying in the briefing.
Dandong Kehua Economy & Trade Co, Dandong Xianghe Trading Co and Dandong Hongda Trade Co allegedly exported $650 million worth of goods to North Korea from January 1, 2013 to August 31, 2017, according to the briefing.
They imported more than $100 million worth of products from the country, it said.
The traded products included notebook computers, anthracite coal, iron ore and other items. In addition, Sun Sidong and his company, Dandong Dongyuan Industrial Co, were responsible for exporting more than $28 million worth of goods such as motor vehicles and electrical machinery to North Korea over a period of several years.
"Chinese companies trading with North Korea fully or partially suspended their business after the Chinese government followed a UN vote to impose new sanctions," said Lü Chao, an expert on Korean studies at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences.
"Calculating the trade volume based on historical data does not make any sense," he told the Global Times on Wednesday.
China's sanctions on many products such as coal, iron, copper and other mineral products, in addition to textiles and seafood, have hindered the growth of bilateral trade between China and North Korea.
From January to September, bilateral trade increased 3.7 percent year-on-year, but the growth momentum has slowed, particularly after March, Gao Feng, spokesman of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), said during a press briefing on October 26.
Gao also noted in September that bilateral trade had been gradually declining month by month.
In the first three quarters of this year, bilateral trade was up 3.7 percent year-on-year to $4.03 billion, decelerating 3.8 percentage points compared with the first eight months, Huang Songping, spokesperson of General Administration of Customs, told a press briefing on October 13.
Within that period, China's exports to North Korea increased 20.9 percent, while its imports from the neighboring country declined 16.7 percent, both on a year-on-year basis, he said.
Also, the latest data showed that China's exports to North Korea declined 6.4 percent in August and 6.7 percent in September, resulting in seven consecutive monthly decreases, Huang noted.
"Before the MOFCOM sent out any sanction warnings, it was totally normal to do business with a neighboring country," Lü said.
Established in 2001 with initial registered capital of 99 million yuan ($14.96 million), Kehua runs diversified businesses ranging from textile products to machinery equipment, according to domestic corporate data site tianyancha.com.
The site shows that its net profit fell about 60 percent in 2016 year-on-year to 170,000 yuan, and the number of employees has dropped 50 percent.
"It's impossible for those companies to survive if they continue to carry out trade with North Korea that the UN and Chinese government have banned," an official who declined to be identified told the Global Times on Wednesday.
Kehua, along with the other three trading companies, could not be reached by either phone or e-mail as of press time on Wednesday.
In August, the US Treasury Department targeted several Chinese trading firms - Dandong Zhicheng Metallic Materials Co, Jinhou International Holding Co and Dandong Tianfu Trade Co - for allegedly aiding North Korea's nuclear weapons plans.