The Trump administration is putting renewed pressure on China amid frustration with Beijing’s reluctance to deal with North Korea’s nuclear threat. In recent days the Trump administration has approved a $1.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan and blacklisted a small Chinese bank over its business ties with North Korea. In addition, the State Department has given Beijing a dismal grade in a new human trafficking report. American officials had been describing improved coordination with China as the centerpiece of their North Korea strategy. They seek to prevent the North from being able to strike the US homeland with nuclear weapons.
President Donald Trump and top aides are irritated over China’s reluctance to tighten the economic screws on North Korea. Yet the White House insists it’s not out to punish Beijing.