China / Government

Xi calls for prudence on missile deployment

By AN BAIJIE (China Daily) Updated: 2016-06-30 07:57

Seoul should heed security concerns of China, he tells ROK's prime minister

President Xi Jinping urged the Republic of Korea to handle the possible deployment of an advanced US missile-defense system in a "prudent and proper" manner, as he met on Wednesday with ROK Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn.

The president's remarks came a day after the announcement by ROK Defense Minister Han Min-koo that negotiations on when and where to deploy the system, if deployment is approved, will be finished this year.

It was the first time that Seoul has released a timeline on possible deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system.

The ROK should pay attention to China's legitimate security concerns over the deployment of THAAD, Xi said.

China and the ROK should be dedicated to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, to jointly maintaining the peace and stability of the peninsula, and to pushing forward the parties concerned to resolve problems through peaceful dialogue, Xi said.

Xi also called on the two countries to deepen political trust, to enhance communications through multiple channels including government, legislatures and political parties, and to make full use of bilateral strategic dialogues.

Hwang said that the ROK would like to keep close communication with China in such areas as the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.

Additionally, the ROK would like to establish closer economic ties with China under the framework of the China-ROK free trade agreement, he said.

Defense Minister Han told the country's legislature on Wednesday that the ROK is discussing the deployment of THAAD with the US, and the two sides will choose locations under the guideline of maximizing the military capacity of the anti-missile defense system, according to the Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency.

On Friday, Han said in a statement that the anti-missile defense system is capable of destroying midrange missiles at the "last stage".

Peter Cook, the Pentagon's press secretary, said on Friday that discussions with the ROK had "progressed well", but there were still "some details to work out".

Zhang Junshe, a senior researcher at the PLA Naval Military Studies Research Institute, said that deploying THAAD in the Republic of Korea would neither cope with any perceived threat from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea nor bring peace to the Korean Peninsula.

"The move would only intensify tension on the peninsula and push Pyongyang to further pursue development of nuclear weapons," he said.

The deployment of THAAD would reflect a "Cold War mentality" that could undermine the strategic security interests of China and Russia, he said.

Hot Topics