Monday’s Asahi took up the disclosure by several USG sources that President Trump and Chinese President Xi agreed at their summit in Beijing on Nov. 9 to exchange information on the status of enforcement of UN sanctions and their impact on the North Korean economy. According to the article, U.S. commerce, tax, and financial officials will check whether the Chinese are implementing the UN sanctions appropriately every few months. The two militaries also plan to set up a “hotline” to exchange information on North Korea. The paper added that the two governments and militaries have also engaged in discussions on a possible contingency on the Korean Peninsula, speculating that the Chinese are eager to deepen coordination with Washington on North Korea with the goal of heading off a U.S. military attack on their defiant neighbor.
In a related article, Sunday’s Nikkei wrote that China has already begun considering taking concrete measures to prepare for the possibility of a contingency in North Korea. The paper claimed that the Xi administration has instructed relevant authorities to set up refugee camps that can shelter as many as half a million people along the North Korean border and that barracks are being built for PLA Army personnel to strengthen border patrols.