China is planning to build a number of refugee camps on its border with North Korea in what is being seen as an indication that Beijing is preparing for a potential conflict.

Five locations in China's north-eastern Jilin province have been identified as potential sites for refugees, according to a document that was apparently leaked from China's biggest telecommunications company, China Mobile.

The firm had reportedly been tasked with ensuring that internet would be available at the sites.

The document said a local government in Jilin was planning to set up five refugee camps "because the situation on the China-North Korea border has intensified".

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Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military analyst, said that China would almost certainly set up "quarantine areas" on its north-eastern frontier that would be used in the event of a war.

China fears an influx of refugees as Beijing's Communist rulers are obsessed with maintaining social stability.

A newspaper in Jilin last week published a page of "common sense" tips on how people can protect themselves from a nuclear weapons attack or explosion. The report did not mention the threat of attack from North Korea or any other country, but explained how people should react.

Telegraph Group Ltd