By: Zack Duvall
Chinese officials had some sharp push back on Tuesday during a daily news conference where Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang, called for an end to the “China responsibility theory”.
“Recently, certain people, talking about the Korean peninsula nuclear issue, have been exaggerating and giving prominence to the so-called ‘China responsibility theory.’ I think this either shows lack of a full, correct knowledge of the issue, or there are ulterior motives for it, trying to shift responsibility.” Shuang said during the news conference when talking about the tensions between North Korea and the U.S.
The comments come after a meeting on Saturday between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, and yet another missile test by North Korea. Raising tensions even further, the recent test by North Korea was of an ICBM style missile that puts Alaska and parts of the U.S. west coast within range of the North Korean threat.
President Trump, during the meeting on Saturday, appeared to take a more conciliatory tone with China on the North Korean issue, but vowed that the crisis would be solved “one way or the other”.
Chinese officials have become increasingly upset with the U.S. over recent sanctions against multiple Chinese companies, banks and officials over their continued dealings with the rogue nation, despite U.N. sanctions. Shuang cited these sanctions when pressed about China’s lack of support for additional Security Council sanctions against North Korea.
“Asking others to do work, but doing nothing is not okay. Being stabbed in the back is really not okay.” He told reporters. The recent U.S. sanctions against the Chinese entities and officials bars a Chinese banks from the U.S. financial system and restricts travel to the U.S. for the officials named in the sanctions and seizes any assets they have within U.S. jurisdiction.
The comments from China come as the Trump administration has grown frustrated with Beijing because newly released trade figures show an increase in trade between China and North Korea, when the U.S. has called on China to restrict trade in an effort to starve Kim Jung Un of much needed revenue for his missile program.
President Trump had been optimistic that the U.S. could work with China and utilize China’s economic influence over North Korea to bring the rogue nation to talks and cease its illegal nuclear and missile programs. However, the President has said recently that “with or without” China the North Korean crisis “will be solved”, an indication that the Trump administration is committed to resolving the issue without Chinese approval or assistance.