The United States is investigating a number of Chinese companies for suspected breaches of sanctions on North Korea, and Chinese banks and firms should understand that dealing with North Korea is "risky," a senior U.S. official said on Wednesday.
China said it opposed any country using its own laws for "long-arm jurisdiction," after the United States on Monday sanctioned China's Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development for using front companies to evade sanctions on North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
It was the first time the United States has taken such a step against a Chinese firm, and Daniel Fried, sanctions policy coordinator at the U.S. State Department, told a U.S. Senate hearing the action should serve as a warning. He said it would be better if China took such actions itself.
Fried declined to name other Chinese firms under investigation, or firms elsewhere in the world, but added: "We are actively looking at a number of targets ... Clearly our actions on Monday indicate that we are willing to sanction Chinese companies who are evading U.S. and U.N. sanctions."
"Of course, the preferred option is for China to do more," Fried said.
"It would also be useful if Chinese banks and companies understood that increasingly, dealing with North Korean companies, especially those that are sanctioned, is going to be risky; frankly not worth it."
The United States acted against the Chinese firm after North Korea conducted its fifth and largest nuclear test on Sept. 9. Discussions are also under way on a possible new U.N. sanctions resolution on North Korea.