China will not step in to save neighboring North Korea if the Pyongyang regime collapses or initiates conflict with its opponents, a retired People’s Liberation Army general has said, apparently underscoring a perceived weariness in Beijing with its wayward, nuclear-armed ally.

“China is not a savior,” wrote Wang Hongguang, formerly deputy commander of the Nanjing military region, in a online commentary for the Global Times newspaper. The organ is considered to represent the views of the China Communist Party.

“Should North Korea really collapse, not even China can save it,” he said.

Wang’s comments came in a contribution to the nationalist tabloid’s Chinese-language website.

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