I have found a way to avoid getting into the red with the Chinese while doing this mission.
It is NOT a cheap method, but it DOES work.
1. DO NOT USE the air strikes Buford gives you. You WILL get hammered.
2. DO NOT USE the Portable Air Strike cheat weapon. See 1.
This assumes that you have a helo at the start.
First, fly to the mountain range to the west of the dirt track that runs from Chongju to Sinuiju/Dandong. Take out the lone helo and the support goons. Go as far south of the pad as you can get while using the hills as cover. Buy a Surgical Strike and aim at Tent #2. You do not have to be able to clearly see the target itself, just the shadow. Fire.
Now, fly along the western side of the mountain range to a spot just south and below a DPRK outpost with 2 ZSU-57s. Buy 2 more Surgical Strikes to aim at Tents #3 and #4. Take them out.
Now, fly a bit south until you reach a small hilltop that is just stable enough to land on. This will allow you strike Tent #5 with yet another Surgical Strike. The reason you will need to relocate has to do with the fact that if you use the laser on Tent #5 so close, the strike will cause a Chinese Blackhawk (An S-70) to attack you as you will most likely be in a DPRK chopper.
Finally, fly due east until you are able to fly directly over the Kusong M*A*S*H and Allied HQ. When you just south of the HQ, fly over the mountain ridge until you are at the southernmost point and land. From there, you can buy a 5th Surgical Strike and have a clean aim for the laser on Tent #1.
Yes, this will cost a net of -$90,000 (if your Mafia status is maxed out), BUT, from several tries of experience, you will NOT get dinged as an enemy of China.