PolitiFact: Is China really taking unprecedented steps on North Korea?

  • President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping pause for photographs at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., on April 7. AP

PolitiFact staff
Friday, April 21, 2017

In an interview with Fox News on Monday, President Donald Trump said that with North Korea, “nobody has ever seen such a positive response on our behalf from China.”

Our ruling

Trump said with North Korea, no one has ever seen such a such a positive response from China on America’s behalf.

In the eyes of the experts we reached, China is doing more. Some were more enthusiastic than others. The record shows that China has gradually moved in this direction over the years. Refusing coal shipments is in line with U.N. economic sanctions that China voted for last year. China has largely maintained its trade ties with North Korea and so far, its actions have been more rhetorical than substantive.

It is difficult to quantify a “positive response.” Whether the latest moves represent a sea shift that “no one has ever seen,” or the logical conclusion of a longer pattern, probably lies in the eye of the beholder.

We rate his statement Half True.

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