In a historical shift in foreign policy, China might support a new round of sanctions by the United Nations (UN) against North Korea after its recent missile test, according to observers. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un hailed the launch on Sunday as a test of the “perfect weapon system” and capable of carrying “a large-size heavy nuclear warhead.”
The attack came hours before Chinese President Xi Jinping held the biggest diplomatic event of the year, the Belt and Road forum.
At the request of the United States and Japan, the United Nations Security Council will convene an urgent session today to discuss the situation.
According to the South China Morning Post, analysts said that the UN Security Council would likely discuss the new sanctions, with China possibly playing a role in their formation.
China Foreign Affairs University international relations professor Su Hao said North Korea had “to be held accountable and pay the price” for violating UN resolutions.
“This could also be an opportunity for China to show that it can initiate some plausible plans to handle the North Korea issue within the framework of the international community,” Su added.
Amid growing tensions over Pyongyang’s array of missile tests, Beijing in February banned imports of North Korean coal citing UN resolutions for all of its measures against North Korea
Coal is North Korea’s main export and an important source of foreign currencies for its economy and China is its major importer.
Meanwhile, the United States has also urged China to use its influence over North Korea to de-escalate tensions.