THAAD a threat to ‘sta­bil­ity in re­gion’, Xi tells ROK leader

China Daily (USA) - - G20 2016 CHINA - By LI XIAOKUN in Hangzhou lix­i­aokun@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

XIN­HUA

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping meets Repub­lic of Korea Pres­i­dent Park Ge­un­hye in Hangzhou on Mon­day.

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