April 12, 2018 | Quoted by Christy Lee - Voice of America

North Korea-China Thaw Could Undermine International Sanctions

As relations between Beijing and Pyongyang thaw slightly, the prospect of China relaxing its sanctions imposed on North Korea and thwarting U.S. President Donald Trump's “maximum pressure” campaign makes experts wary.

Jonathan Schanzer, a senior vice president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a former terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Treasury Department, said China has been providing “permissive jurisdiction,” which makes it easier for North Korea to defy sanctions.

“When it comes to North Korea, it lacks enforcement of sanctions, a large amount of financial transactions being processed by Chinese institutions,” Schanzer told VOA's Korean Service. “This comes despite the fact the U.S. has been trying to place maximum pressure on North Korea.”

Schanzer, however, said “there’s a lack of will on the part of China to implement or to enforce these sanctions,” especially now as trade relations between Beijing and Washington have become tense due to Trump imposing tariffs on Chinese imported goods.

“China and the United States are farther apart now than they were a few weeks ago, and even then, it was a challenging relationship as it relates to North Korea,” Schanzer said.

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