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Xi talks about THAAD deployment, Syria, anti-terror cooperation ahead of Russia trip

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-07-04 12:13
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BEIJING - In an interview with Russian media organizations ahead of his July 3-4 state visit to Russia, President Xi Jinping reiterated China's stance on the deployment of a US anti-missile system in South Korea, the Syrian civil war and anti-terror cooperation with Moscow.

Thaad deployment

In the interview published Monday, Xi said that the installation of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in South Korea "seriously undermines the strategic security interests of China, Russia and other regional countries, and upsets the strategic balance in the region."

"China and Russia have maintained close communication and coordination at various levels on this matter. Our two sides have a high degree of agreement in our perceptions of the nature of this issue and the harm it will bring," said the president, adding that Beijing and Moscow "firmly oppose" such deployment and urge relevant country to stop and cancel it.

The deployment of THAAD, which can shoot down short- and medium-range ballistic missiles during the latter stage of their flight, was agreed by Washington and deposed former South Korean President Park Guen-hye's administration, citing the increasing threat of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

The incumbent government of Moon Jae-in suspended the installation in early June, saying while it will not withdraw the two launchers that are already in place, four additional launchers will not be deployed until a thorough environmental impact assessment is completed.

"China and Russia will take necessary measures, jointly or individually, to preserve our security interests and regional strategic balance," Xi warned without elaborating.

To solve the long-standing and complicated Korean Peninsula issue China has proposed a dual-track approach of advancing denuclearization and establishing a peace mechanism in parallel.

Meanwhile, Beijing has also put forward a suspension-for-suspension proposal that requires Pyongyang to suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the suspension of large-scale US-South Korean military exercises.

Xi said China's suggestion has gained unequivocal support and understanding from the Russian side as well as growing positive response from the international community.

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