China has reportedly put its bombers on "high alert," a sign that it may be preparing for North Korean military contingency, CNN reported.
An official told CNN the U.S. has seen many Chinese aircraft being prepared for action. North Korea has continued to escalate threats against the U.S. and South Korea as it continues to test missiles, most recently threatening that a U.S. preemptive strike would lead to the destruction of both countries "in an instant."
China may also take economic action against North Korea, including cutting off its crucial crude oil exports, the Nikkei Asian Review reported. This would be contingent on North Korea conducting another nuclear test.
President Trump has pressured Chinese President Xi Jinping to curb North Korea. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said "all options are on the table" in North Korea, including a preemptive strike.
China has reason to fear a North Korean regime collapse. It may lead to an influx of North Korean refugees and a reunited Korea that is allied with the U.S., as South Korea is.
Trump had threatened that an "armada" was on its way to North Korea, but it was later reported that the aircraft carrier that led the group was actually headed away from that country.
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