China Cuts Ties With North Korean Bank But Cooperation Has Its Limits

Bank Of China Cuts Ties With North Korean Bank
The Bank of China has closed the account of North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank, which had been suspected of offering financial assistance to Pyongyang’s nuclear program, Reuters reports.

In recent months, China has signed on to UN sanctions and issued a statement with Secretary of State John Kerry last month urging North Korea to abandon its nuclear programs, which raises hopes that China is becoming more willing to work with the international community. For the US, North Korea remains the most dangerous threat, particularly considering its recent aggressive actions geared toward the US.

China Engaged In Cyber Espionage, Pentagon Asserts
Of course, China’s cooperation has its limits and those limits are driven by self-interest. For example, according to Bloomberg News, the Pentagon just released a report that for the first time overtly accuses China of engaging in cyber espionage.

“China is using its computer network exploitation capability to support intelligence collection against the U.S. diplomatic, economic, and defense industrial base sectors that support U.S. national defense programs,” says the report.

Deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia David Helvey tells The Hill the Pentagon is very aware and “mindful of the potential threats to the security of our defense technology and defense systems.”

Pentagon: China Sees Stable Relations As Essential To Its Development
An annual Pentagon report to Congress on the state of US-China relations puts forth the assertion that “China regards stable relations with its neighbors and the United States as essential to its stability and development. China continues to see the United States as the dominant regional and global actor with the greatest potential to both support and, potentially, disrupt China’s rise.”

China Views Protecting Its Sovereignty As Paramount
The report notes that despite a desire to engage “in a peaceful development strategy, China’s efforts to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity (underpinned by growing economic and military capabilities) have occasionally manifested in assertive rhetoric and behavior that generate regional concerns about its intentions.”

The sensitivity to perceived advances on its sovereignty combined with a lack of transparency about its growing military capabilities, the report states, “has also increased concerns in the region about China’s intentions. Absent a move towards greater transparency, these concerns will likely intensify as the PLA modernization progresses.”


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