China on Monday reportedly offered its "deep condolences" on the death of Kim Jong Il, an "intimate friend" of the Chinese people who had promoted "good-neighborly and cooperative relations."
"We are shocked to learn that DPRK top leader comrade Kim Jong Il passed away and we hereby express our deep condolences on his demise and send sincere regards to the DPRK people," China's official news agency Xinhua quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu as saying in a statement.
According to Xinhua, Ma said that Kim Jong Il was an intimate friend of the Chinese people who had promoted "good-neighborly and cooperative relations."
He had also made important contribution to developing the DPRK's socialist cause, Xinhua wrote.
"We believe the DPRK people will definitely be able to turn sorrow into strength and remain united as one to continuously push forward the socialist cause of the DPRK," Ma reportedly said.
"China and the DPRK will work together to continue to make positive contribution to consolidating and developing traditional party-to-party, state-to-state and people-to-people friendship between the two sides and maintaining peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the region."
Xinhua reported that Kim "died from a great mental and physical strain at 08:30 on Dec. 17 (2330 GMT Friday), on the train during a field guidance tour."
The Daily Mail, meantime, quoted Cai Jian, a Korea expert at Shanghai's Fudan University, as saying that: "China's biggest worry will be over North Korea's stability, and China's aim will be to ensure the country remains stable. I think security will be stepped up in North Korea, and China is also likely to tighten security along the border. If [Kim's] death leads to chaos, we could see a flow of refugees across the [Chinese] border."