Security risk seen in anti-missle setup

By By Hong Xiao and Wang Linyan at the United Nations | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-10-13 11:25

The development of missile defense systems should be subject to international law, with the safeguarding of a "common security environment" a precondition, a Chinese military official said on Thursday at a China-Russia joint briefing at the United Nations.

"Relevant countries should recognize safeguarding the common security environment as the overriding interest, stop developing missile defense systems incompatible to the actual threats they face, and avoid harming the security interests of other relevant parties," said Zhou Shangping, Chinese representative and deputy director of the Operation Bureau under the Joint Staff Department under China's Central Military Commission. Zhou spoke at a briefing on the sidelines of the General Assembly.

The United States and the Republic of Korea this year began installing the THAAD (Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense) anti-missile defense system in the ROK, with more missile interceptors planned, over China's objections.

It was the third briefing that Chinese and Russian military officials have jointly held on the anti-missile issue this year.

The anti-missile issue has a profound and long-term impact on global strategic balance and stability, peace and security, as well as arms control and the disarmament process, Zhou said.

Seeking absolute security of one's own at the cost of the security of others by developing global missile defense systems inevitably exacerbate the international security environment, disrupt global strategic balance and stability and trigger confrontation or even an arms race, Zhou said.

Zhou said that he hopes all countries start from the perspective of maintaining global and regional strategic stability and enhancing strategic mutual trust among countries; that they fully understand the detriment of the "obsessive development" of the global missile defense program, and fundamentally address nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation issues through political and diplomatic means.

The US deployment of missile defense systems in the Asia-Pacific region seriously jeopardizes the strategic interests of China, Russia and other countries, Zhou said.

"China strongly urges the US and the ROK to attend to the strategic security interests and concerns of countries, including China and Russia, and take back their wrong decision and withdraw relevant facilities," Zhou said.

Aleksandr Emelianov, of the Russian Defense Ministry international cooperation committee, said that the development of the global anti-missile situation is a major issue of international security and has a profound impact on the process of nuclear disarmament and strategic stability.

Emelianov said that the United States' unilateral withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty) and its establishment of the global anti-missile system have undermined the current international security system and broken the strategic balance and could lead to an arms race that would generate unpredictable consequences, including lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons, impairing the offense-defense force balance and even threatening space security.

In October 2016, China and Russia held their first joint briefing on the anti-missile issue in Beijing on the sidelines of the Seventh Xiangshan Forum. In March, the two sides held a joint briefing on global and regional anti-missile situations in Geneva on the sidelines of the ongoing Conference on Disarmament.

The latest briefing was held in April on the sidelines of the annual Moscow Conference on International Security.

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