China has placed military forces on heightened alert in the northeastern part of the country as tensions mount on the Korean peninsula following recent threats by Pyongyang to attack, U.S. officials said.
Reports from the region reveal the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) recently increased its military posture in response to the heightened tensions, specifically North Korea’s declaration of a “state of war” and threats to conduct missile attacks against the United States and South Korea.
The Chinese military activities near North Korea were detected in Jilin Province, and intelligence reports from the area on March 19 indicated that PLA forces were ordered to go to “Level One” alert status, the highest level of readiness.
Large groups of soldiers were seen on the streets in Ji’an, a city in Jilin, amid reports that the PLA had been ordered to combat readiness status.
PLA heavy armored vehicles, including tanks and armored personnel carriers, were reported moving near the Yalu River that separates China from North Korea.
The troops were part of the 190th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, stationed in Benxi, in Liaoning Province. The movements are believed to be related to increased tensions in Korea.
Additionally, PLA troops and military vehicles were seen near Baishan, in Jilin province, around March 21.
Low-flying PLA air force jets, believed to be fighters, also were heard and seen at several border locations in China, including Yanji and Yanbian in Jilin, Kuancheng, in Hebei province, and Dandong, in Liaoning province.
Chinese forces along the border responded to some unknown event in North Korea near Siniju on March 21 that involved Chinese fighter jets flying over the area.
China’s military maintains a long-standing defense treaty with the North that obligates China to defend North Korea in the event it is attacked. The last time Chinese forces backed Pyongyang was during the Korean War when tens of thousands of Chinese “volunteers” drove south into the peninsula.
Chinese military spokesmen frequently refer to their relations with the Korean People’s Army, as the North Korean military is called, as ties “as close as lips and teeth.”
Full article: Border Patrol — China mobilizing troops, jets near Korea (Washington Free Beacon)