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U.S. Accuses Chinese Banks, but Treads Lightly

Anthony Ruggiero
4th December 2017 - Quoted by Ian Talley - The Wall Street Journal

The Trump administration is locked in a diplomatic quandary as it tries to pressure North Korea: How to sanction Pyongyang’s top ally and patron—China—without alienating an economic powerhouse that is arguably the best hope to slow its rogue nuclear-weapons program.

That predicament helps explain why the U.S has targeted only one small Chinese bank with sanctions so far, even though American officials and analysts believe financial institutions in China represent key nodes in Pyongyang’s illicit finance network.

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“The only reason they are holding off is that they fear Chinese retaliation,” said Anthony Ruggiero, a former State and Treasury Department official who focuses on North Korea at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington think tank.

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Without further action against Chinese banks, Mr. Ruggiero says, Washington is sending a signal to China that it has all the leverage: “The U.S. will choose a good relationship with the Chinese financial sector over punishing Chinese banks for their activities supporting North Korea,” he said.

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Read more here.

Tags

china, csif, north-korea, sanctions