The United States has warned China it will blacklist Chinese companies and banks that do illicit business with North Korea if Beijing fails to enforce U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang, according to senior State Department officials.
In response to the U.S. warning, Chinese officials said they believe pressure alone on North Korea will not work, and that they oppose any U.S. action that would hurt Chinese companies, officials said.
U.S. sanctions on Chinese businesses and banks would likely exacerbate tense relations between the two major powers, who disagree over China’s claims in the South China Sea and the U.S. deployment of an anti-missile battery to South Korea.
With President Barack Obama’s administration in its final weeks, officials said any major steps would likely be left to Donald Trump’s administration, which takes over in January.
Though a frequent critic of China, it is unclear whether Trump will pursue the sanctions.