SPUTNIKNEWS – September 16, 2017: By threatening to cut off trade with China, Washington is demonstrating inflexibility and openly blackmailing Beijing in an effort to solve the North Korean problem at China’s expense, experts told Sputnik, referring to the fact that Beijing has just approved a new package of UN sanctions against Pyongyang.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s statement that the US can stop trade with any country that does business with North Korea, including China, appears to be nothing but blackmail aimed at forcing Beijing to exert more pressure on Pyongyang, Alexander Lomanov, an expert at the Institute of the Far East in Moscow, told Sputnik China.
On Wednesday, Mnuchin stated that the Trump administration may cut off trade with Beijing.
“We can stop trade with any country that does business with North Korea,” the Treasury Secretary told Fox News’ Bret Baier. He confirmed that “nobody would be off the table” when asked whether the administration is ready to go as far as halting trade with China.
The remark came just two days after the United Nations Security Council passed a new package of sanctions on Monday in retaliation for North Korea’s nuclear test, conducted on September 3.
“This is blackmail, because America isn’t waiting until these sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) start working,” Lomanov explained. “Sanctions do not begin to work the next day after their adoption. We must look at the results at least after a few months, maybe six months, or maybe more.”
Although Russia and China supported the recent UN measure, they urged the international community, most notably the United States, to implement a “double freeze” strategy aimed at easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The expert underscored that the US has adopted an “intransigent posture,” while coping with the North Korean issue. Lomanov believes that the “double freeze” initiative offered by Beijing and Moscow could create favorable conditions for the resolution of the crisis on the peninsula.
The Sino-Russian plan envisages the suspension of North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests as well as joint military maneuvers by the US and its regional allies near borders of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
“The Americans, however, continue to ‘raise rates’,” Lomanov told Sputnik. “North Korea is responding in the same manner… The DPRK has joined this race aimed at escalating the situation with great enthusiasm.”
Under these conditions, “the US is openly blackmailing China, by threatening to cut off trade,” because Washington wants to emerge as a winner in the US-North Korean standoff, Lomanov said.
“In the last century, [the US] did not talk to China in this tone, because they believed that nothing depends on [Beijing]. Now one shouldn’t talk in this tone to China, because today a lot of things rest on [Beijing’s] shoulders,” the expert pointed out.
According to Yang, the US has become the main obstacle to the solution of the North Korean problem: Washington hasn’t made any steps to reach a compromise with Pyongyang, placing the whole burden of responsibility on China.
“This is an extremely irresponsible position, it reflects the US’ helplessness,” the Chinese scholar said. Link: Read Complete Article