Skip to comments.China Freezes Out Pyongyang
Posted on 07/24/2006 11:21:54 PM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder
CHINA'S relationship with its former satellite North Korea is unravelling fast, underlined by reports yesterday that the People's Bank of China has frozen all North Korea's accounts. South Korean parliamentarian Park Jin said he had learned on a visit to Washington that through its action the Chinese central bank had responded to persistent North Korean counterfeiting of its currency, the yuan.
A spokesman for the People's Bank of China yesterday declined to deny Mr Park's claim, saying, however, that the bank had not yet issued a statement confirming the claim.
Mr Park's account helps explain why China did not respond directly to the US's imposition of sanctions on Banco Delta Asia in Macau, a Chinese special administrative region.
Washington, which froze $32million worth of accounts at the bank, accused North Korea of circulating counterfeit US dollars printed in North Korea, which has long used Macau as its principal international financial contact point.
Indeed, Mr Park said China was working alongside the US to track and smash North Korea's counterfeiting operations.
It is 10 days since the UN Security Council unanimously passed resolution 1695 -- drafted chiefly by China -- responding to North Korea's launch of seven missiles by blocking the shipment of materials Pyongyang might use for the construction of missiles or nuclear weapons, demanding that it suspend its missile program and urging that it return without pre-conditions to the six-party talks -- with China, the US, South Korea, Russia and Japan.
Frustration is growing with North Korea's failure to respond.
In China's case, this is multiplied because it first ignored Premier Wen Jiabao, who said: "We hope that the various parties will proceed from the greater interest of maintaining stability on the Korean peninsula and refrain from taking measures that will worsen the situation."
Then, a fortnight ago, Beijing sent Vice-Foreign Minister Wu Dawei and Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu to Pyongyang for six days -- without their meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong-il or making significant progress.
China has become North Korea's lifeline for oil and food, and in recent years a source of $1.33billion in annual aid.
Last year, China also accounted for 53 per cent, worth $2.1 billion, of North Korea's total trade, while China's investment in North Korea grew to $133 million.
It is thus almost inevitable that North Korea should extend its global counterfeiting to include China, its most important economic partner, with which it shares a 1400km border -- more than six times that between North and South Korea.
China's currency, slowly appreciating against the US dollar, is also strong and circulates widely throughout the region, where once the greenback was the king of trade. And Chinese goods are highly attractive to North Koreans.
China's continued lead over the North Korea crisis has restored it to a central position in the US's approach to north Asia, just at a time when Japan's leadership is about to change, with nationalist Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe almost certain to succeed Junichiro Koizumi as leader of the Liberal Democratic Party and thus as prime minister.
On Thursday and Friday, the foreign ministers of the six parties, including North Korea's Paek Nam-sun, will be in Kuala Lumpur attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' regional forum.
North Korea is expected to be a major topic at the forum, during which China, the convenor of the six-party talks, is making efforts to arrange a meeting of the six. If Mr Paek agrees to participate, this will mark a minor breakthrough.
It's not nice to wizz on the sleeping giant that feeds you....
Confucious say, man who protect angry midgit for too long might get kicked in shins.
True. I was sort of surprised to read this article. NK can apparently turn off China's ire fairly easily, just by converting those pesky printing presses over to dollars. It won't go so easily with the US. I have read articles to the effect that the NK counterfeit US $100 dollar bills are "scary good".
The North Korean problem may resolve itself if Kim Jong Il keeps annoying China, but we may never know exactly how. We'll just hear from China one day that, oh, by the way, North Korea has a "new dear leader."
And who knows what else! :-)
Were you the guy who made mock Chinese grammatical errors in another thread?
There are also allegations that N.Korea conterfeited Russian Rubles as well, and that Moscow has frozen North Korea's Russian accounts.
If true, this is good news!
And if so, what? Making fun of the speech of foreigners is a staple of humor the world over, and time immemorial. It takes a good ear to do it well, though.
Make fun of grammar errors, I did not. Only Kim Jong Il, make fun of I do.
No, dude, that's Yoda. Understandable mistake.
Hmmm. WOnder what has gone on behind close doors t obring this about...dont suppose Japan threatening to rearm has anything to do with China getting off its butt...
Chinese grammar is similar to that anyway. It's almost direct word for word.
this is all show, a nudge and a wink.
Good news if true.
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