(Washington Times) China is showing the first signs of bowing to the Trump administration’s pressure campaign to stop buying Iranian oil, less than two weeks before Washington’s deadline to sharply curb Tehran’s vital energy sector after President Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Beijing has long vowed to defy the revived U.S. sanctions, but this week a key Chinese export-finance bank and the country’s largest state oil refineries indicated that they were pulling back from their business with Tehran. China is Iran’s single biggest oil customer, and a drawback by Beijing would be a major victory for the U.S. pressure campaign.
Countries that opposed Mr. Trump’s decision on the nuclear deal vowed to defy U.S. secondary sanctions targeting their companies that continue to trade with Iran. But as in Europe, the prospect of losing access to the much-bigger U.S. economy and financial system has apparently forced Chinese officials to recalculate.