There are reports from both Asian media and European sources of a significant Chinese military mobilization on the border with North Korea. We have not been able to confirm these reports. Still, we think it is important to bring them to your attention. The combination of their potential significance and the fact that they come from multiple sources, albeit unconfirmed, makes this development worthy of a brief alert.
The first report comes from Sankei Shimbun, a daily paper with one of the largest circulations in Japan. On April 9, the paper reported the movement of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) personnel toward the Yalu River, saying it was partly related to China’s reaction to U.S. missile strikes in Syria last Thursday. On Monday, a report appeared on Chosun.com, a subsidiary of Chosun Ilbo, one of South Korea’s main newspapers. This report said that 150,000 PLA personnel had been deployed and identified them as parts of the PLA’s 16th, 23rd, 39th and 40th Group Armies. G