Beijing looks to safeguard region’s parity
Military weighs ‘necessary measures’ for national security, strategic balance
The Chinese military said on Thursday that it will consider taking “necessary measures” to protect national security and regional strategic balance, in response to the decision by the United States and the Republic of Korea to deploy an advanced missile defense system in the ROK.
China seeks development of its own missile defense system, Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun confirmed at a monthly news conference.
“We will closely follow relative moves of the US and the ROK and will consider taking necessary measures to protect national strategic security and regional strategic balance,” Yang said.
Yang also responded to a report on Monday in PLA Daily that quoted missile defense expert Chen Deming as saying that Beijing has the capabilities for a land-based defense system to intercept missiles midway.
“China seeks moderate development of its anti-missile capabilities to protect national security and raise defense capabilities. It is not targeting any country or target and will not impact global strategic stability,” Yang said.
Washington and Seoul said in a joint announcement on July 8 that the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system will be deployed to deal with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.
China and Russia expressed strong opposition to the system, whose radar will be capable of monitoring missiles in the two countries.
Xie Yongliang, an expert at the PLA’s Academy of Military Science, said the repeated success of China’s midcourse missile defense tests shows that “China has fully grasped key technologies about anti-ballistic missiles”.
Ruan Zongze, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, said it is unwise for Seoul to accept the deployment of THAAD on its territory.
We will closely follow relative moves of the US and the ROK.” Yang Yujun, Defense Ministry spokesman
“China and Russia will certainly strengthen military implementation targeted at the THAAD system, which will actually push the ROK to the front line of confrontation of major powers”.
Yang also announced that China and Russia have decided to hold a joint military exercise in the South China Sea in September. He said the “routine” exercise will deepen ties between the two nations and two militaries and “strengthen the two navies’ capabilities to jointly handle security threats from the sea”, adding that it is not targeted at third parties.
China and Russia have held maritime exercises annually since 2012.
Vladimir Petrovsky, a researcher at the Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said the regional tensions have become a common concern for both countries, and military cooperation such as joint drills is a good way to respond.