China / Government

US warned over missile system

By Wang Xu (China Daily) Updated: 2016-04-30 02:02

US warned over missile system

Foreign Minister Wang Yi (right) points the way to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov after a news conference at the Foreign Ministry in Beijing on Friday. NG HAN GUAN / AP

Beijing and Moscow urge Washington against starting deployment in the Republic of Korea

China and Russia sent strong signals to the United States on Friday, urging it not to deploy a new anti-missile system in the Republic of Korea.

"We are expressing serious concerns in regard to the US intention to deploy the THAAD system in the ROK," Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters at a joint news conference with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

"This move goes far beyond actual defense necessities and damages the strategic security of China and Russia."

The US and ROK began talks on possible deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system after the Democratic People's Republic of Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test in January.

However, China firmly opposes the move, with analysts saying the system could be used to monitor Beijing's missile launches as far inland as Xi'an in the northwest of the country.

Lavrov said countries involved "shouldn't use Pyongyang's acts as a pretext to increase their military presence on the Korean Peninsula. We believe the possible deployment of the THAAD anti-missile system won't resolve this problem."

Wang said the possible deployment only "adds fuel to the fire of an already tense situation and even possibly wrecks the regional strategic balance".

Last week, Sung Kim, the US special representative for DPRK policy, said China and Russia do not need to be concerned about THAAD. It is "a complete defense system" to protect the US and ROK "against missile threats from Pyongyang".

He made the comments after "productive discussions" in Beijing with Wu Dawei, China's special representative on Korean peninsula affairs.

Zuo Xiying, an international studies specialist at Renmin University of China's National Academy of Development and Strategy, denounced Kim's comments.

Zuo said THAAD is called a "defense system" but its capacity passes way beyond the need to safeguard against missile threats from Pyongyang and its radar could be used to collect surveillance data far inland in both China and Russia.

"This poses a threat to China and Russia's national security, and the deployment will definitely harm regional peace and stability," Zuo said.

Lavrov also said on Friday that one of his most important tasks is to prepare for Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Beijing in June. Lavrov discussed the visit with President Xi Jinping and Wang during their meeting on Thursday and Xi told him that China hopes for new agreements with Russia during the visit.

Ren Qi contributed to this story.

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