One can speculate what the Praetorian Guards' mission might be: containing 23 million refugees? Protecting a weak regime from imploding? Or to simply stand tall as a reminder that China does have a military option if Dear Leader (tm) crosses the line. It seems that the PLA has a contingency plan.
As a recent New York Time article stated (here):
Administration officials said the Chinese government had embraced an American plan to press the North to reconcile with the South after its deadly attacks on a South Korean island and a warship. The United States believes the Chinese also worked successfully to curb North Korea’s belligerent behavior.
Division of Shenyang MAC in actual-troop tactical drill
(Source: PLA Daily) 2010-12-27
Shown in the picture is the site of the winter tactical drill with real troops of a division under the PLA Shengyang MAC. (Photo by Li Guangdong)
When it cleared up after the heavy snow, a division under the Shenyang Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) allied with an aviation division under the PLA Air Force to conduct a tactical drill with real troops in the Keerqin Grassland of North China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
By Liu Dewu, Zhu Xiaohu and Shi Binxin
The Division has been identified as 115th Mechanized Infantry Division, 39th Group Army, Shangyang MR