Published: Fri, July 14, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

China's export, import growth accelerate in June

China's export, import growth accelerate in June

Exports rose 11.3 percent to $196.6 billion, up from May's 8.7 percent rate, customs data showed Thursday.

China's trade with North Korea, which is subject to strict worldwide sanctions linked to its ongoing nuclear weapons program, rose more than 10% in the first half of this year, a customs official said, to just over $2.5 billion, with exports rising 29.1%.

China stopped importing North Korean coal but total trade has risen, which prompted Trump to complain last week Beijing is failing to use its economic leverage to stop Pyongyang's pursuit of nuclear weapons.

While Beijing is North Korea's longtime ally in the region, the state has voiced frustration with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's aggressive behavior.

China's overall imports from North Korea fell 13% compared to the first half of 2016, said Huang Songping, a spokesman for China's customs department.

At the same time, Cui stressed that U.N. Security Council sanctions on North Korea did not constitute an embargo.

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China suspended imports of North Korean coal in February, while imports of iron ore accord with relevant United Nations resolutions, he said.

USA president Donald Trump has criticized China's ties with the North Korean government, saying its economic interests undermined its ability to challenge president Kim Jong-un's totalitarian rule. The surplus with the United States was China's largest since October 2015.

China insisted yesterday that it was abiding by United Nations sanctions on North Korea despite a jump in its trade with the nuclear-armed nation that comes amid growing U.S. calls for Beijing to rein in its neighbor.

Monthly figures were more representative of the trend and China's imports from North Korea had been "falling sharply for four consecutive months since March", he said, including by 36 percent in March and 42 percent in April.

"If Trump were to give up on Chinese support in terms of containing North Korea, then there's a risk of increased trade tensions between the US and China, which could negatively impact China's overall export performance", said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics.

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