A state-run Chinese newspaper said that China will support North Korea in a conflict with the United States.
The Global Times said Friday that if the U.S. strikes North Korea first, China will defend the communist nation, but if North Korea launches a first strike, China will stay neutral.
“If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so,” the editorial read. “It needs to make clear its stance to all sides and make them understand that when their actions jeopardize China’s interests, China will respond with a firm hand,” said the paper.
The statement of support for Kim Jong-un’s hermit kingdom was published in an op-ed that also claimed China to be unable to diplomatically influence the situation. While the paper is not official Chinese government policy, its editorial line is closely controlled by Beijing.