China rejects ‘fake news’ of secret plan to boost aid to North Korea
Report on conservative US website that China will provide military support to pariah regime is based on ‘fake’ document, Beijing says
China dismissed a report on a US news website that the Communist Party has a secret plan to provide increased aid and military support to North Korea.
Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang called the report by Washington Free Beacon “fake news” during a daily press briefing on Wednesday.
“Anyone with common sense can see that the document [cited in the report] is fake,” Geng said.
In the report, the conservative website said Beijing had agreed to offer assurances that the North Korean regime would not be allowed to collapse, citing a secret five-page document in Mandarin that it claimed was from the party’s Central Committee.
The document said Beijing would offer Pyongyang more aid for “daily life and infrastructure building” and a one-time 15 per cent increase in funds for 2018.
China would also provide military support to North Korea, including short and medium-range missiles, it said.
North Korea did not need to “immediately and completely give up its nuclear weapons”, according to the document, but had to commit to not launching any new nuclear tests.
Washington Free Beacon said it got the document – a directive for the party’s International Liaison Department – from a person who had Chinese intelligence and security ties. It was dated September 15 – 12 days after North Korea’s last nuclear test and about a month ahead of China’s twice-a-decade party congress.
Tensions have escalated on the Korean peninsula amid repeated nuclear and missile tests by the North. Relations between Beijing and Pyongyang have also deteriorated, with China backing tough United Nations sanctions imposed on the regime.
Song Tao, head of the Chinese Communist Party’s liaison department, visited North Korea in November. Song briefed North Korean officials on the party congress but in what was seen as a diplomatic snub by Pyongyang, he did not meet leader Kim Jong-un.