China joined Russia on Tuesday in criticizing a US plan to build a missile
defense system in Europe, saying the system could set off an arms race.
The White House plans to install a radar system in the Czech Republic and
interceptor missiles in Poland - two Eastern European countries that were in the
Soviet orbit during the Cold War era.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said the plan had "aroused
great concern and attention."
"China believes that the impact of a missile defense system on strategic
defense and stability is not conducive to mutual trust of major nations and
regional security," she said. "It may also give rise to a proliferation
Russia perceives the shield as a direct threat and says it has no choice but
to boost its own military potential in response. In some of his latest comments
on the matter, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Moscow could take
"retaliatory steps" including aiming nuclear weapons at US military bases in
The US says the network is meant to protect NATO allies against a missile
launch from Iran, not Russia.
China and Russia improved relations dramatically in the 1990s and forged what
they call a "strategic partnership."