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Beijing dismisses reports of THAAD radar, calls for halt in its deployment

By Mo Jingxi | China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-18 06:53

China dismissed on Friday media reports that an X-band radar unit, part of a controversial US anti-missile system, has arrived in the Republic of Korea and urged that its deployment be immediately halted.

The media reports indicated that the X-band radar, a key component of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, arrived at the Osan Air Base about 60 kilometers south of the capital city of Seoul on Thursday.

"The ROK Foreign Ministry has made a clarification to China, saying the reports are not true," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Friday at a daily news conference in Beijing.

Hua reiterated China's resolute opposition to the advanced missile defense system, urging those involved to take China's concerns into consideration and stop the deployment.

She also said China understands the ROK's concerns about ensuring its security, but said the deployment of THAAD would harm the strategic balance in the region and would not help maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

"It may also put the ROK in a more unsafe situation," she said.

Hua said China's reasons for opposing the THAAD deployment are "sufficient and just" because the system's X-band radar, which has a range of more than 2,000 km, can peer deep into Chinese territory.

"This is far more than the scope the ROK needs to deal with any external nuclear or missile threat," she said.

China has no objection to the ROK taking necessary measures to preserve its own safety, Hua said, "but such measures should not be done on the basis of harming the security interests of China, its friendly neighbor".

Da Zhigang, director of the Institute of Northeast Asian Studies at the Heilongjiang Academy of Social Sciences, said when the ROK considers protecting its own interests with THAAD, it also should think over the possible regional impact.

"The system, which allows its ally, the US, to monitor China, will inevitably make others doubt its real intention behind the deployment," he said.

He also suggested a consultation mechanism so both sides can sit down and express their concerns over the THAAD deployment.

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