THAAD a threat to ‘stability in region’, Xi tells ROK leader
President Xi Jinping stressed to Republic of Korea President Park Geun-hye on Monday that Beijing objects to the deployment of an anti-missile system in the ROK, and he warned that careless handling of the issue would “aggravate conflicts”.
“Mishandling the issue is not conducive to strategic stability in the region, and could intensify conflicts,” Xi told Park as they spoke on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou.
China is ready to deepen cooperation with the ROK under multilateral frameworks, and to step up coordination on hot-spot issues, he said.
Washington and Seoul jointly announced on July 8 that the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system will be deployed in the ROK in response to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.
China and Russia expressed strong opposition to the system, whose radar would be able to monitor missiles in the two countries, saying its deployment would destabilize the balance of security in the region.
Xi said China is committed to the denuclearization and stability of the Korean Peninsula and seeks to settle symptoms and root causes of the issue by “solving the concerns of the parties concerned in a comprehensive and balanced way” through the Six-Party Talks.
“China expects to work with the ROK to maintain and further develop the hard-won ties, and China hopes both sides make efforts to expand positive facets of China-ROK cooperation and restrain negative factors,” Xi said.
“Both sides should respect each other’s core interests and ensure that China-ROK ties advance in a stable and sustainable way.”
Park told Xi that Seoul will maintain close communication with China on these issues.
She said her country attaches great importance to ties with China and is committed to pushing forward bilateral ties “based on mutual trust”.
Seoul’s Korean Joongang Daily newspaper said on its website on Thursday that Park would try to ease tensions with Beijing over the THAAD issue during her China trip.
Wang Junsheng, an Asia-Pacific studies researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said a deployment of the THAAD system would severely degrade the security situation on the Korean Peninsula.
Pyongyang has repeatedly launched missiles after the THAAD announcement, while the system will also hamper international cooperation, especially that between China and the US, on Peninsula affairs, he said.
President Xi Jinping meets Republic of Korea President Park Geunhye in Hangzhou on Monday.