China warned today that new US sanctions targeting Chinese firms linked to North Korea “will not help” cooperation with Beijing in the nuclear crisis. The US Treasury Department slapped punitive measures on a clutch of Chinese and Russian individuals and companies Tuesday, accusing them of supporting North Korea’s nuclear programme and attempting to evade US sanctions. The sanctions came as President Donald Trump has pressed Beijing to do more to convince its ally North Korea to abandon its nuclear ambitions. “The US action will not help the solution of the problem as well as the mutual trust and cooperation with China,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular news briefing. “We urge the US side to stop this wrongdoing and correct it,” she said.
At the same time, Hua said the “extremely tense” situation on the Korean Peninsula “has shown some signs of abating” thanks to the concerted efforts of various parties, though it “remains highly complex and sensitive”. She made the remark hours after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signalled that talks with the North might be possible “in the near future”.