China reportedly boosts defence preparations along North Korean border

Big 5

China has ramped up its defences along its border with North Korea to ready itself for a potential crisis on the peninsula, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The newspaper reported Beijing has increased surveillance of the border region as well as a “combat readiness-level big data disaster recovery center.” The military has also conducted drills and transferred units from other regions, the Journal reported.

The Journal said that these measures parallel President Donald Trump’s comments that he is considering military action to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions and that Beijing should do more to handle the matter.

Despite Trump’s self-professed admiration for Chinese President Xi Jinping, North Korea’s missile program has repeatedly strained the relationship between the world’s two largest economies.

Last month, the Treasury Department slapped sanctions on a Chinese company and two citizens with ties to North Korea. The move was intended to push China to exert greater diplomatic responsibility over the isolated nation.

Even as the government boosts its presence along the North Korean border, China has reiterated its hopes that the North Korean issue can be settled diplomatically or politically.

“China always maintains that military options shall never be considered to resolve the Korean Peninsula issue, because force will in no way settle disputes, but will only bring greater suffering, unbearable to all,” Lu Kang, China Foreign Ministry spokesman, said on Monday.

Similarly, U.S. officials have tried to smooth tensions. In June, Defense Secretary James Mattis told Congress that the U.S. is “exhausting all possible diplomatic efforts” to avoid what would be a “catastrophic war.”

The retired four-star general said while the U.S. would prevail, it would be “a war more serious in terms of human suffering than anything we have seen since 1953.” Source: CNBC