China’s central bank issued an order Thursday requiring all banks in the country to cease any and all business with North Korea, a surprising and significant move against the rogue nation.
The move comes on the same day as President Donald Trump’s announcement that he signed an executive order instructing the Secretary of the Treasury to cease all transactions with any person, entity, bank or nation that does any business with North Korea.
“Foreign banks will face a clear choice. They can do business with the United States or facilitate trade with the lawless regime in North Korea,” Trump told reporters before a luncheon with Japanese and South Korean leaders on Thursday.
It is likely that China’s President Xi was notified ahead of Trump’s announcement and decided to take action to prevent Chinese financial institutions from being cut off from the world.
Trump said he was surprised by the Chinese action, but praised and thanked President Xi for having done so.
The order will also go after other industries including textiles, fishing and information technology.
“The order also includes measures designed to disrupt critical North Korean shipping and trade networks,” the presdient said. The remark points at North Korea’s use of loopholes in international shipping rules which allow non-North Korean ships to pick up fuel and other embargoed cargo in Russian and Chinese ports, indicate they are going to a lawful destination, then show up in a North Korean port.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe thanked President Trump for his leadership on the North Korea crisis and pointed out his support for the executive order.
The luncheon included U.S., Japanese, and South Korean leaders and was to focus on trade between the three nations.