US, China relations begin to cool

Since then, he said, the United States has sent B-1B nuclear bombers into South Korean airspace, deployed the THAAD anti-missile system in the country, imposed new USA sanctions against North Korea, and spearheaded another U.N. sanctions resolution.The Trump administration on Thursday moved to block a Chinese bank with alleged illicit financial ties to North Korea from gaining access to the US banking system.With the designation, the Bank of Dandong, considered a marginal Chinese bank, will not be able to access the US financial system directly or indirectly through third parties.While administration officials said Mr. Trump had grown increasingly frustrated with China for putting more pressure on North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs, the response showed that officials here, too, were frustrated by Mr. Trump’s lurching strategy and cavalier style of tweeting new policy.We are in no way targeting China with these actions.Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the US still wants to work with Beijing on combating the North Korean threat.The administration also slapped sanctions on two Chinese individuals and one Chinese company.The president was to meet for the first time Thursday with South Korea’s new leader, President Moon Jae-in, who has long advocated outreach to North Korea. The latest round of sanctions have gotten backing from China, North Korea’s sole ally.The sanctions against the two Chinese companies were announced in Washington by Mr. Trump’s treasury secretary, Steven T. Mnuchin, only hours before the agriculture secretary, Sonny Perdue, arrived in Beijing to promote “tasty, wholesome, healthy, safe USA beef”.The measure proved to be an effective tool for Washington, creating a run on the bank.Signing a peace treaty with the United States used to be the North’s standing demand in return for dismantling its nuclear programmes.It also came after the United States sanctioned a Chinese industrial machinery wholesaler, Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development Co, in September for its ties to North Korea’s nuclear program, the first time Washington had taken such a step against a Chinese firm.Anthony Ruggiero, a former senior Treasury official in the Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, said the action against Bank of Dandong was the first time USA authorities had sought to punish a Chinese bank accused of helping North Korea.But James Reilly, an associate professor in global relations at the University of Sydney, said “China will be less likely to do anything on North Korea” due to the sanctions and the arms sale.U.S. foreign policy experts say Chinese companies have long had a key role in financing Pyongyang.Speaking to reporters on his flight to the US, Moon said Seoul and Washington should offer concessions to Pyongyang if it complies with their demands, according to multiple South Korean reports.Mr Mnuchin said that the USA could impose more sanctions in the future.The sanctions mean that the Bank of Dandong will be barred from doing business in the US. He said administration officials would be meeting with Chinese officials on the sideline of the Group of 20 meeting to discuss further ways to stop North Korea’s illicit activities. Alongside its ritual ballistic missile tests, North Korea has conducted nuclear tests on five occasions, two of which in 2016.Shi Yinhong, a professor of worldwide relations at Renmin University of China, said that Mr. Trump’s actions returned the relationship to normal: strained, with deep issues dividing the two countries.Mnuchin insisted, however, that the USA isn’t targeting China.