An air raid drill has been held in a Chinese city bordering North Korea and Russia as security is heightened amid rising tensions in the Korean Peninsula.
It was the first air raid drill to be held in Hunchun, Jilin province, China News Service reported yesterday.
The drill on Thursday lasted for 30 minutes, and the city would hold similar drills in the future, the report quoted Xu Helin, head of the city civil air defence office, as saying.
In the drill, the air raid alarm was triggered twice, and citizens were evacuated to underground shelters, where medical teams were deployed.
"The drill was conducted to let ordinary people be more aware of the contingency needed, making them more capable to evacuate in future disaster and air raid incidents," Xu said.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have been rising amid Pyongyang's fury over the imposition of United Nations Security Council sanctions after its third nuclear test in February, creating one of the worst periods of stress on the peninsula since 1953 when the Korean war ended.
In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei reiterated China's position that the tensions should be resolved through dialogue.
The recent provocative moves by Pyongyang have put Beijing in a dilemma, with rising calls for the Chinese leadership to stop being friendly to the reclusive state. But an editorial in the Global Times, published under the People's Daily, said "geopolitics makes abandoning North Korea naïve".
The editorial said China lacked a solid strategy towards Pyongyang, and the interests of Pyongyang and Beijing have never coincided. But it said North Korea was a "shield" to offset the impact caused by US pivot to the Asia Pacific.
"The North's stance toward China, whether it's friendly or not, will influence the strategic posture of Northeast Asia," it said. "The Sino-North Korean relationship won't follow the same trajectory of the Soviet Union and China."
Several mainland travel agencies have cancelled tours to South Korea due to the threat.
The ministry said it had no plan to evacuate Chinese people from the two Koreas. Taiwan government has urged its citizens to delay trips to South Korea.