China has rejected allegations by United States that it helped North Korea evade United Nations sanctions, following claims by US President Donald Trump that Beijing had allowed the transfer of oil to a North Korean ship.
Reacting to Trump’s claim on Friday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said, “The recent series of reports on this situation do not conform with the facts.”
Beijing does not permit its “citizens or companies to engage in any activities that violate” UN resolutions, she said.
Hua further said that China had always implemented UN resolutions in their entirety and if there really were violations, Beijing would seriously deal with them in accordance with the law.
She said China had looked into the report of a Chinese ship transferring oil to a North Korean vessel and had concluded that it was “inaccurate.”
“There is no record of the vessel visiting a Chinese port” since August, Hua said.
Trump had made the accusation on Thursday.
“Caught RED HANDED – very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea,” Trump wrote in a Twitter message on Thursday. “There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!”
The Chinese spokeswoman said, “I think making pointless hype through the media is not conducive to enhancing mutual trust and cooperation.”
The American president later identified the source of his information as the right-wing Fox News network during an interview with The New York Times newspaper.
In the interview, Trump squarely tied his administration’s trade policy with China to its perceived cooperation in resolving the North Korean nuclear crisis.
“When I campaigned, I was very tough on China in terms of trade. They made — last year, we had a trade deficit with China of $350 billion, minimum. That doesn’t include the theft of intellectual property, OK, which is another $300 billion,” Trump said, as quoted by the daily.
“If they’re helping me with North Korea, I can look at trade a little bit differently, at least for a period of time. And that’s what I’ve been doing. But when oil is going in, I’m not happy about that.”
The UN and the US have imposed a series of sanctions against Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile programs in recent months.
China has repeatedly said it is fully enforcing all resolutions against North Korea.
The UN Security Council (UNSC) unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea last week for a recent intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test, seeking to further limit its access to refined petroleum products and crude oil.
The US-drafted UNSC resolution seeks to ban nearly 90 percent of refined petroleum exports to North Korea by capping them at 500,000 barrels per year.