China on Tuesday denied a published report that its military has drawn up contingency plans to cope with a possible regime collapse in North Korea, saying that the document had an unspecified "ulterior motive."
China's foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the comment when asked about the Saturday report by Japan's Kyodo News that the Chinese military was preparing for a possible regime collapse in the North.
Kyodo cited internal documents of China's military as a source of the paper.
"To my knowledge, the relevant report is groundless and with an ulterior motive," Hua said at a regular press briefing. "We hope the Korean Peninsula will maintain stability and we hope North Korean people will have a stable and comfortable life."
According to the Kyodo report, the contingency plans call for the establishment of refugee camps along the border with North Korea to handle an expected huge influx of North Koreans and "respond to foreign forces" if its regime collapses.
The report said China's military appears to have drawn up the plans last summer, or months after Pyongyang conducted its third nuclear test in February 2013.
China is North Korea's last-remaining key ally and its economic lifeline. ( Yonhap)