China Pushes For Un Security Council Sanction Relief For Pyongyang World News
China wants the economic sanctions imposed on North Korea relaxed after the deal signed between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Tuesday.
China is trying to reassert its role as the main supporter of North Korea besides regaining the loss of business caused to Chinese companies owing to sanctions imposed by the UN.
"The UN Security Council resolutions that have been passed say that if North Korea respects and acts in accordance with the resolutions, then sanction measures can be adjusted, including to pause or remove the relevant sanctions," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing on Tuesday.
Speaking to journalists hours after the agreement in Singapore, Geng said, "China has consistently held that sanctions are not the goal in themselves. The Security Council's actions should support and conform to the efforts of current diplomatic talks towards denuclearising the Korean Peninsula, and promote a political solution for the peninsula."
He emphasised that Beijing has implemented the UN sanctions on North Korea. The sanctions caused serious financial loss to Chinese companies because China is responsible for about 90% of North Korea's foreign business transactions.
North Korea is extremely important to China because it acts as a buffer before the heavy military presence of the US in South Korea. China also favours a settlement on the North Korean issue to avoid an economic crisis that would result from thousands of refugees flowing into its border regions.
Discussing the negotiations in Singapore earlier in the day, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said, "We hope that the two countries' highest leaders can dispel interference, establish mutual trust, overcome difficulties and can reach a basic consensus on promoting and achieving the denuclearisation of the peninsula and promoting and establishing a peace mechanism for the peninsula."
"Of course, we are willing to see all relevant sides making positive efforts on this. China will continue to play our constructive role," Wang added.
Detailing China's expectations from the negotiations, he said, "At the same time, there needs to be a peace mechanism for the peninsula, to resolve North Korea's reasonable security concerns. I think nobody can doubt the extremely unique and important role China has played. And this role will continue."
The meetings were held against the historical backdrop of the 1950-53 Korean War which ended with an armistice; technically, a state of war still exists between the two Koreas.
Though Trump and Kim reached an agreement on a few basic issues, there will no change in the undeclared state of war for the time being.