China steps up patrols of North Korean border
(15 January 2015)
According to the China Defence News, the Chinese government has established civilian patrols to monitor the 500 km stretch of border with North Korea in the Yanbian prefecture of Jilin province. The program, as outlined by the newspaper, will include “militia patrols” involving groups of 10 nearby households as well as video surveillance.
The development of the militia patrols comes as ties between China and North Korea have frayed over questions of border security, which according to Chinese state media has become a “very serious” issue. The Chinese government officially protested to North Korea the killing of four people in the Chinese border city of Helong in December 2014. Zhang Liangui, an expert in North Korean affairs at China’s Central Party School said that, "The fact that North Koreans are running over the border to China shows that North Korea's regulation of the border is seriously problematic."
Despite increasing border tensions, however, China remains North Korea’s closest diplomatic and economic ally.
China enlists citizens to patrol border with North Korea - state media, 15 January 2015, Sui-Lee Wee and Megha Rajagopalan for Reuters, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/15/us-china-northkorea-border-idUSKBN0KO08920150115