China will close down the North Korean companies operating in its territory as it implements United Nations sanctions against the reclusive state.
The North Korean companies will be shut by early January. Joint Chinese and North Korean ventures will also be forced to close.
China, North Korea’s only major ally, has already banned textile trade and limited oil exports.
The move is part of an international response to North Korea’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test.
The UN Security Council, of which China is a member, voted unanimously for fresh sanctions on September 11.
China’s commerce ministry said it had set a deadline of 120 days from the passing of the resolution for any North Korean companies within its borders to close.
North Korea is politically and economically isolated, and the vast majority of its trade is with China.
China has traditionally been protective of North Korea, but has sharply criticized its nuclear tests and escalating rhetoric.
Earlier this year, China clamped down on its purchase of coal from North Korea and on seafood and iron trade across the border.
Coupled with the textile trade ban, Pyongyang has lost several of its scant sources of foreign currency income.
China has been under public pressure to take action from President Donald Trump, who has both applauded and denounced Chinese policy at different times.
President Trump has also been involved in a direct war of words with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, labeling him a “rocket man” on “a suicide mission”. He warned that he would have no choice but to “totally destroy” North Korea if forced to defend the US or its allies.
Kim Jong-un, in turn, has called Donald Trump “deranged” and a “dotard”, and said the US president’s comments have convinced him he is right to seek a nuclear deterrent, and has even accused President Trump of declaring war.
At a news briefing on September 28, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said: “We are opposed to any war on the Korean peninsula.”
“Sanctions and the promoting of talks are both the requirements of the UN Security Council. We should not overemphasize one aspect while ignoring the other.”