The article itself is better. It goes on to quote Chinese officials such as Jia Qingguo, dean of the School of International Studies at Peking University, who proposed that China could send its army to North Korea to create a "safety zone" to prevent a massive flow of refugees across the border.
In other words, he is proposing to transform North Korea from a buffer zone against the U.S. into a true vassal state, not that different from Tibet.
Barthelemy Courmont, a China specialist at the Institute of Strategic and International Relations in Paris, and a China groupie, said Pyongyang's downfall could be good for Beijing, especially economically.
"China now believes that a collapse of North Korea would not necessarily be to its disadvantage," Courmont said. "If North Korea were to fall in a peaceful way, China would be best positioned for its reconstruction. China is the only country capable of overseeing the reconstruction of North Korea."
On the contrary, South Korea is best positioned for reconstruction, by far, especially since the current president, Moon Jae-in had parents who were born in North Korea, not to mention his serving in ROK special forces. He has feet in both countries.
China would be a classic occupier. It would treat North Koreans as it always has, worse than farm animals. The proof of this is China's non-compliance of multiple UN treaties.
The UN Refugee Convention was originally drafted in 1951, with a 1967 Protocol. China signed both in 1982. China signed the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in 1987. These treaties expressly forbid the deportation of refugees back to a country where they will be tortured, imprisoned, and executed, which is exactly what happens to North Koreans when they are returned to the DPRK. Both treaties were signed well after China replaced the ROC in the UN in 1971, so China cannot claim that it inherited conditions of which it was unaware.
And it's unlikely that North Korea would fall in a peaceful way, given the 120,000-200,000 slaves in the labor camps who would be massacred by the guards on standing orders dating back to Kim Il-sung to eliminate all witnesses to the torture and summary executions inflicted by the guards. China has its own labor camps, from which organs are routinely harvested to give to the elite, so the deaths of Koreans would be a mere statistic.
It's likely is that an implosion of North Korea would result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands, as the RAND Corp. noted, as well as a serious risk of a five-way war between China, Russia, North Korea, South Korea, and the U.S.
If China is allowed to take control of North Korea, there won't be a happy ending.