North Korea

China ‘must prepare for war over North Korea’s rocket launch and nuclear tests’

Beijing has to gear up for fallout if countries strike Pyongyang, says Chinese military adviser

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 February, 2016, 6:49pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 February, 2016, 12:34pm

A Chinese military adviser has warned China to be prepared for war in the Korean Peninsula, but not to sacrifice as much as it did in the 1950s.

Speaking on the deterioration of the security situation after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s recent nuclear and satellite tests, Major General Wang Haiyun said in an article on Tuesday that China must “take strong counter measures” as it faced various threats.

READ MORE: Don’t pass the buck on North Korea’s nuclear programme, China tells United States

“[China] must adjust the force deployment along northeastern borders ... and prepare militarily and diplomatically for all potential risks as soon as possible,” Wang said in the Global Times, a newspaper under the party mouthpiece People’s Daily.

Wang, a former military attaché to Russia, is a senior consultant at the China Society for International Strategy, a think tank headed by Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of Joint Staff of the Central Military Commission.

The threats Wang named – besides North Korea’s tests – included the United States’ decision to send an aircraft carrier, strategic bombers and nuclear submarines to South Korean and Japanese bases, and the deployment of an anti-ballistic missile system in South Korea.

Wang’s comments came as foreign vice-minister Zhang Yesui pledged support for a strong resolution at the UN Security Council to punish Pyongyang after its rocket launch and nuclear test. “We support a new and strong resolution,” Zhang said on Tuesday.

In the article, Wang suggested that China start planning to deal with potential cross-border nuclear pollution were the US, Japan or South Korea to strike North Korean nuclear facilities, as well as to prepare for a massive influx of refugees or guerrillas from the North.

READ MORE: South Korean leader’s tough new line to derail Pyongyang’s nuclear programme

Wang said Beijing must persuade Pyongyang against developing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, and that North Korea would face a “national disaster” if war broke out.

“Once the war starts ... China cannot again make a national sacrifice for an unadvisable regime,” Wang said.

In the Korean War from 1950 to 1953, 180,000 Chinese soldiers were killed helping Pyongyang fight the South and a US-led coalition. Last week, Fu Ying, chairwoman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the parliament, said China had no control over North Korea.

Additional reporting by Kyodo