The government of northeast China's Jilin Province announced Tuesday plans to upgrade railways links to neighboring North Korea, aiming to boost cross-border economic and trade ties.
North Korea was slapped with fresh financial sanctions on March 7 for its third nuclear test after the UN Security Council voted unanimously to tighten restrictions over Pyongyang's attempts to ship and receive banned cargo.
The China Tumen-North Korea Rajin Railway and China Tumen-North Korea Chongjin Railway will be upgraded under the Jilin government plan. A special highway passenger line linking Tumen to North Korea is also set to be opened in coming years.
The plan aims to improve the industrial cooperation between China and North Korea's Rason and push the development of the Tumen Korean Industrial Park to a higher level.
Jin Qiangyi, director of the Asia Research Center of Yanbian University, told the Global Times that the industrial cooperation between China and North Korea has been going on for many years and does not breach international sanctions against Pyongyang.
Such cooperation could improve employment in border areas of both countries and contribute to development and stability in the area amid heightening tensions, said Jin.
China said earlier this month the fresh UN sanctions are a "necessary and moderate response" to Pyongyang's nuclear test, but stressed that sanctions and resolutions alone will not work.
"Keeping some pressure on North Korea by resorting to sanctions is necessary to prevent it from further missile and nuclear tests, but the international community should also maintain engagement with Pyongyang and encourage it to integrate into the world," Jin said.