The Chinese government is planning to build refugee camps for North Korean defectors due to the situation within the China-North Korea border which has “intensified lately.” China is prepping to build camps in five areas within Changbai, which could potentially house thousands of North Korean refugees.
While China’s foreign ministry didn’t deny that they were planning to build the alleged refugee sites, they admitted that they weren’t aware there’s already media coverage on it. According to BussinessInsider, China’s plans on building the said refugee camps originated from a leaked document that was discovered on Chinese social media site Weibo.
An excerpt from the leaked document read, “Because the situation on the China-North Korea border has intensified lately, Changbai County government plans to set up five refugee sites in Changbai.”
Chinese tech company Sina Corp was reportedly told by officials to “check for viable internet service” in areas where the camps are to be built.
The source mentioned that China previously recognized North Korean defectors as illegal immigrants instead of refugees. However, China’s plans to build the said refugee camps could mark a change in China’s policy on North Korean defectors set two years ago.
According to NewsWeek, the leaked document revealed that the refugee camps will be erected on three areas namely in Changbai Jiguanlizi, Changbai Shibalidaogou and Changbai riverside. Communist Party of China’s Central Party School professor Zhang Liangui explained that China is just getting “prepared for any kind of situation happening on the Korean Peninsula.”
Liangui emphasized that China’s plans on building the supposed sites were “absolutely reasonable.” “It is highly possible that there is a conflict between North Korea and the United States now,” Liangui added.