China summons US, South Korean envoys; Protests missile system

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Beijing | Published: July 8, 2016 4:58:03 PM

China today warned that the plans by the US and South Korea to deploy a missile defence system on the Korean Peninsula harms Beijing's "strategic security interests" and may destabilise the region, as it summoned the envoys of both countries to register its "firm opposition".

THAAD missiles shoots down short- and medium-range ballistic missiles in the terminal phase of their flight using hit and kill technology. They have a range of 200 km and can reach an altitude of 150 km. (Reuters)THAAD missiles shoots down short- and medium-range ballistic missiles in the terminal phase of their flight using hit and kill technology. They have a range of 200 km and can reach an altitude of 150 km. (Reuters)

China today warned that the plans by the US and South Korea to deploy a missile defence system on the Korean Peninsula harms Beijing’s “strategic security interests” and may destabilise the region, as it summoned the envoys of both countries to register its “firm opposition”.

“Disregarding the clear opposition from relevant countries including China, the US and Republic of Korea (ROK), decided to go ahead with the deployment of THAAD, (Terminal High Altitude Area Defence) systems. China has lodged solemn representations with their ambassadors,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a media briefing here.

Reports from Seoul said both the US and South Korea have agreed to deploy a controversial missile defence system, in the wake of intensifying threats emanating from North Korea.

Beijing fears the system’s radars would be able to see far into its territory, a BBC report said.

THAAD missiles shoots down short- and medium-range ballistic missiles in the terminal phase of their flight using hit and kill technology. They have a range of 200 km and can reach an altitude of 150 km.

“The deployment of the THAAD in no way helps to achieve the denuclearisation goal and maintain peace and stability of
the Korean peninsula,” Hong said.

“It goes against the efforts to resolve the relevant disputes through dialogue and will severely undermine security
and disrupt strategic balance,” he said.

“We strongly urge the US and South Korea to halt the deployment process of the THAAD system and refrain from taking
any action to escalate regional tensions and undermine China’s strategic security interests,” he said.

“The Chinese side is strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposed to this,” China’s Foreign Ministry said.

China, regarded as close ally of North Korea, has supported the most recent UN sanctions after North Korean nuclear and missile tests but yesterday opposed the imposition of unilateral sanctions by US on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for the first time, citing human rights abuses.

“China maintains that human rights issues be handled through constructive dialogue and cooperation on the basis of
equality and mutual respect,” Hong said yesterday.

He said: “China opposes public pressurisation, confrontation, one country’s wilful resort to unilateral sanction on another country based on its domestic law and damage to the legitimate and lawful rights and interests of another country.”

Meanwhile, an oped article in the state-run Global Times said, “US sanctions against Kim is bullying and ridiculous”.

“Kim is unlikely to have deposits or other assets in the US, nor will he visit the country. Blacklisting Kim is more
like a symbolic move to step up pressure on Pyongyang,” he said, adding, undeniably with the sanctions has humiliated
North Korea’s top leader in front of international society.

“This will be considered by Pyongyang as the most provocative move by the US. It won’t help solve the nuclear issue,” it said.

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