July 26, 2017 09:48
China has strengthened border security to prepare for a potential crisis in North Korea, including a possible U.S. strike on North Korean nuclear facilities, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
"Recent measures include establishing a new border defense brigade, 24-hour video surveillance of the mountainous frontier backed by aerial drones, and bunkers to protect against nuclear and chemical blasts," the daily said.
"China's military has also merged, moved and modernized other units in border regions and released details of recent drills there with special forces, airborne troops and other units that experts say could be sent into North Korea in a crisis," the daily added. "They include a live-fire drill in June by helicopter gunships and one in July by an armored infantry unit recently transferred from eastern China and equipped with new weaponry."
"Meanwhile, authorities in Jilin province, which borders North Korea, are reinforcing and expanding a network of underground shelters and command posts to withstand air, nuclear or chemical attack," the paper added.
Chinese Defense and Foreign Ministry officials are downplaying the moves or saying that the Chinese forces are only maintaining "a normal state of combat readiness and training."
Meanwhile, Mark Cozad of the Rand Corporation said, "If you're going to make me place bets on where I think the U.S. and China would first get into a conflict, it's not Taiwan, the South China Sea or the East China Sea: I think it's the Korean Peninsula."
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