News / Asia

Analysts: China Likely to Support New Sanctions Against N. Korea

Mike Richman
China is under pressure from the international community to support new sanctions against North Korea if Pyongyang follows through on its threat to carry out its third nuclear test.

Following North Korea's long-range rocket launch in December, China backed a new U.N. resolution (2087) that strengthened existing sanctions aimed at punishing Pyongyang for its nuclear weapons program.

The resolution, in part, urges U.N. members to monitor the activity of North Korean financial organizations within their countries.  It also calls for travel bans on people suspected of involvement with the North's nuclear program.

So how will China react if North Korea carries out another nuclear test?  The U.N. Security Council, of which China is a permanent member, is expected to respond quickly, possibly with new economic sanctions that expand asset freezes and travel bans on North Korean entities.

China will likely support such measures, according to Asia-related analysts and scholars interviewed by VOA such as Hong Kong senior media educator Zhou Bing.

"China can use a relatively soft punishment like freezing North Korea's bank accounts or canceling trade contracts," Zhou said.  "However, China will still offer aid to North Korea.  Because of humanitarian reasons and the long-time relations that have existed between the two, China still will offer food aid."

Pre-emptive measures

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that some North Korean companies and government-linked businesses are taking pre-emptive measures to avoid new Chinese financial sanctions.

Yonhap quoted a source in Beijing with knowledge of the issue as saying there are signs North Korean entities are withdrawing money from their Chinese bank accounts, or changing their company names in China.

A professor at China's Renmin University School of International Studies, Jin Canrong, told VOA that Sino-North Korean relations have deteriorated since Pyongyang's rocket launch in December, and that they could worsen further if the North carries out a nuclear test.  He said Pyongyang's weak spot is the economy, and China's economic measures toward North Korea are very effective.

Soft economic sanctions

But an Asia analyst at the U.S.-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, James Schoff, told VOA that if China supports new sanctions, it will do so in a way that minimizes the economic impact on Pyongyang.

"The more desperate you make North Korea and the weaker they become economically, you’ve pretty much cut off any hope, chance for them coming around, at least from a Chinese perspective," Schoff said.  "So they’ll do it I think more politically or try to soften some of the hard edges on economic sanctions, but there’s a limit to what they can do.”

China is North Korea's top ally and trading partner and supplies the impoverished country with crucial economic and humanitarian assistance.  China also is seen as one of the few nations able to influence Pyongyang.

North Korea conducted nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009 and has carried out long-range rocket launches. 

The international community has condemned the rocket launches as disguised intercontinental ballistic missile tests.  North Korea says it fired its rocket in December with the intention of putting a weather satellite into orbit.

You May Like

Video Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs