Trump's accusation based on shaky evidence

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/12/29 17:40:01

US President Donald Trump Friday morning tweeted in a strong tone about US satellites capturing photos of "Chinese ships" selling oil to North Korean boats in the West Sea. 

"Caught RED HANDED - very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea," he wrote. "There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!"

Western and South Korean media published photos said to be taken by US satellites. 

In the photos, North Korean boats appeared to be linking up with Chinese vessels. These "Chinese vessels" are not oil tankers and are not large-tonnage. 

US and South Korean media believe these photos prove China violated UN Security Council resolutions to transfer oil to North Korea, but even in the reports it is unclear where the vessels come from or whom they belong to.

Trump's tweet is one of the strongest responses from the US and South Korea. He concluded that China was caught before the truth was clarified and commented in a strong tone. This is not how a US president should behave.

China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and voted in support of UN Security Council resolutions against North Korea. The Chinese central government and local government will seriously implement the resolution. 

It cannot be concluded from the photos that China is supplying oil to North Korea in disregard of resolutions.

It's universally known that the ownership of a vessel cannot be determined from the logos and flags on it. It's hasty to assert that the ship is connected to China just based on its appearance. Moreover, if it was indeed smuggling, it is highly likely that the vessel would use false logos. 

What motivation would China possibly have to secretly supply oil to North Korea? How would Beijing benefit from risking its national reputation for such petty actions? Amid increasingly tough sanctions on Pyongyang, there are indeed some people smuggling for huge gains. But these smugglers might be mainlanders, South Koreans, Japanese, Taiwanese, groups from Southeast Asian countries or even Westerners.

If Washington wants to accuse Beijing, it should hand out tangible evidence. It should point out which shipping company those vessels belong to and with which Chinese authority they are associated. If the US finds illegal acts by anyone from the Chinese mainland, Beijing welcomes the tipoffs and will punish the lawbreakers. 

Some Westerners and South Koreans launched an offensive against China. On the one hand, they refused to implement dialogue as required by the resolutions. On the other, they imposed unilateral sanctions beyond the UN Security Council resolutions. They judge China by themselves, thinking China will not seriously implement the UN resolutions like they do. Then they defamed China simply based on a few photos.

Some radicals from the US and South Korea do not speak in a responsible manner, but we hope President Trump has a broader vision. US policymakers should better know that China has made tremendous efforts to push forward and implement those resolutions. It is hoped Trump and his team will not be hijacked by irrational opinions and add fuel to the flames.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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