THAAD response 'understandable'

By Mo Jingxi | | Updated: 2017-01-14 04:58

It is totally understandable for China or other countries in the region to safeguard their security interests, the Foreign Ministry said, after China and Russia agreed on further countermeasures against the planned deployment of a US missile defense system in the Republic of Korea.

Beijing and Moscow announced on Thursday that they share serious concerns and are firmly opposed to Washington and Seoul’s plan to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system in the ROK.

They urged both the United States and the ROK to respect their security concerns and stop the deployment process, according to a statement released in Moscow after the sixth China-Russia consultation on the security situation in Northeast Asia.

On Friday, Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada inspected the THAAD system when visiting a US air base in Guam.

"We have no concrete plans to introduce THAAD, but we want to explore what is possible," Inada was quoted by Kyodo News Agency as saying.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang reiterated on Friday that the deployment of THAAD will not only seriously affect China’s security interests, but also threaten the strategic balance in the region.

"Of course, we don’t expect intensified tensions to appear in the region. However, if regional countries, no matter whether China or other countries, have reasonable and just security concerns, then it is understandable that they take necessary measures to safeguard their own security interests," he said.

China and Russia expressed strong opposition after the US and ROK announced in July that the advanced anti-missile system, whose radar could cover parts of the two countries, will be deployed in the ROK by the end of this year, in response to threats from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Yao Yunzhu, a senior researcher at the PLA Academy of Military Science, said the deployment of THAAD will make it easier for China’s missiles to be monitored and tracked, thus breaking the current strategic balance between China and the US.

"Once it is completed, China may take actions to increase its strategic deterrence as well as defense capability, to resume the balance," she said.

According to Yao, since China and Russia have conducted joint military exercises and anti-missile technical exchanges before, it is possible that there will be more such activities if THAAD is deployed.

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