China's trade with isolated North Korea rose more than 10 percent in the January-June period from a year earlier, a Chinese official says, amid pressure from the United States for Beijing to do more to rein in its former ally. Samantha Vadas reports.
As U.S. pressure mounts on China over North Korea, Beijing said on Thursday (July 13) that trade with Pyongyang is on the up, jumping more than 10 percent in the first half of the year from 2016. It comes just a week after Donald Trump slammed China on Twitter, pointing at a much larger 40 percent jump earlier this year. He seemed to want to highlight its failure to counter the threat from the North, but Beijing says it's doing exactly what its supposed to be doing. While China's imports from the North were down, exports jumped - driven largely by textile goods that China says aren't included in the U.N.'s bans. Beijing has been on a rhetorical drive this week, pushing back against the U.S. and what China sees as constant harping on about not doing more to rein in the North. "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," said the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson. While China has been angered by North Korea's repeated missile tests, it also points the finger at the U.S. and South Korea for making matters worse with their military exercises and not getting talks back on track.