China plans high-tech anti-mis­sile drill with Rus­sia

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHANG YUNBI in Bei­jing zhangyunbi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China and Rus­sia will hold their first joint com­put­eras­sisted anti- mis­sile drill this month, a move an­a­lysts be­lieve will help coun­ter­act the in­creas­ing de­ploy­ment of Amer­i­can weapons on their doorsteps.

The Min­istry of Na­tional De­fense and the Rus­sian De­fense Min­istry an­nounced late on Tues­day that the drill will be held later this month at a Rus­sian de­fense force re­search cen­ter.

Al­though both min­istries said the drill “does not tar­get any third party”, ob­servers said the two coun­tries are faced with im­mi­nent chal­lenges posed by the US plan to de­ploy the Ter­mi­nal High Al­ti­tude Area De­fense mis­sile-in­ter­cep­tor sys­tem in South Korea.

For their part, Bei­jing and Moscow have re­sponded

strongly against de­ploy­ing the sys­tem. TheX-band radar as­so­ci­ated with THAAD can lo­cate mis­siles 2,000 kilo­me­ters away, a range that in­cludes parts of China and Rus­sia and fully cov­ers north­east China.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Fri­day that Washington has been talk­ing with Seoul “for sev­eral weeks” about de­ploy­ing THAAD.

In March, For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi warned af­ter­meet­ing with his Rus­sian coun­ter­part Sergey Lavrov that the de­ploy­ment “will break the strate­gic bal­ance of the re­gion and spark an arms race”.

WuEnyuan, for­merdi­rec­tor of the In­sti­tute of Rus­sian, East­ern Euro­peanandCen­tral Asian Stud­ies at the Chi­nese Acad­emy of So­cial Sci­ences, said “the drill marks strate­gic co­op­er­a­tion en­ter­ing a new phase of greater ma­tu­rity”.

Wu said Bei­jing and Moscow have a shared duty in sta­bi­liz­ing theKorean Penin­sula.

“The drill later this month should not nec­es­sar­ily be tar­geted at a cer­tain coun­try ... be­cause anti-mis­sile co­op­er­a­tion is a com­po­nent of longterm bi­lat­eral mil­i­tary co­op­er­a­tion,” Wu said.

Li Jie, a se­nior ex­pert at the Naval Mil­i­tary Stud­ies Re­search In­sti­tute of the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army, said the drill — in­volv­ing data trans­mis­sion and com­mand struc­tures— will help the mil­i­taries fa­mil­iar­ize them­selves with their dif­fer­ent sys­tems.

“The drill not only shows po­lit­i­cal and moral sup­port for each other, but also in­tro­duces joint anti-mis­sile ef­forts that will ef­fec­tively fend off threats by en­e­mies on their doorsteps,” Li said.

Ma­jor Gen­eral Luo Yuan, a re­searcher at the Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tionArmyMil­i­tary Sci­ence Acad­emy, said the US is “build­ing an en­cir­clement of anti-mis­sile sys­tems around China, and the only miss­ing link is the Korean Penin­sula”.

As China-Rus­sia anti-mis­sile co­op­er­a­tion is at its ini­tial stage, they could learn from the strengths of each other to ad­dress their own weak links, Luo said, re­fer­ring to the Rus­sian S-400 sys­tem and China’s own anti-mis­sile sys­tem.

The drill marks strate­gic co­op­er­a­tion en­ter­ing a new phase of greater ma­tu­rity.”

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