Bei­jing urges pru­dence by Tokyo on THAAD

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By MOJINGXI mojingxi@chi­

China urged Ja­pan on Mon­day to “act pru­dently” and play a con­struc­tive role in main­tain­ing re­gional peace and sta­bil­ity, as Ja­pan re­port­edly con­sid­ers de­ploy­ment of a US mis­sile de­fense sys­tem, fol­low­ing the Re­pub­lic of Korea.

Ja­pan’s De­fense Min­istry will set up a com­mit­tee to be­gin de­lib­er­a­tions on the Ter­mi­nal High Al­ti­tude Area De­fense sys­tem amid the grow­ing nu­clear threat of the Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of Korea, and De­fense Min­is­ter To­momi Inada is likely to visit Guam next month to in­spect the ground-based THAAD sys­tem at the base, Ja­panese me­dia re­ported.

“We are con­cerned by re­lated reports. China’s stance on the de­ploy­ment of THAAD is very clear and re­mains un­changed,” For­eign Min­istry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news con­fer­ence in Bei­jing.

In Septem­ber, the ROK chose a site for de­ploy­ment of the ad­vanced mis­sile de­fense sys­tem by the end of next year, de­spite China’s strong op­po­si­tion. The sys­tem’s radar has a po­ten­tial ra­dius of 2,000 kilo­me­ters and could cover parts of China.

Ac­cord­ing to Geng, Ja­pan’s move­ments in the field of mil­i­tary se­cu­rity are closely watched by its Asian neigh­bors and the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, due to his­tor­i­cal con­cerns.

“We hope the Ja­panese side will play a con­struc­tive role in fa­cil­i­tat­ing peace and sta­bil­ity in the re­gion, in­stead of the op­po­site,” he said.

Not­ing the com­plex and sen­si­tive sit­u­a­tion on the Korean Penin­sula, the spokesman also called for par­ties in­volved to solve is­sues through po­lit­i­cal and diplo­matic means, in­stead of us­ing the penin­sula sit­u­a­tion as an ex­cuse to harm other coun­tries’ se­cu­rity and re­gional sta­bil­ity.

On Wed­nes­day, Ja­pan and the ROK signed the Gen­eral Se­cu­rity of Mil­i­tary In­for­ma­tion Agree­ment, un­der which they will di­rectly share in­for­ma­tion about the Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of Korea.

Jiang Xin­feng, an ex­pert on Ja­panese stud­ies at the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army Academy of Mil­i­tary Sci­ence, said Tokyo has long been in­ter­ested in de­ploy­ing the THAAD sys­tem, and Ja­pan al­ready has a bal­lis­tic mis­sile de­fense sys­tem af­ter years of co­op­er­a­tion with the United States.

Lyu Yaodong, an ex­pert on Ja­panese for­eign pol­icy at the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences, said, “Once the an­timis­sile al­liance takes shape among Ja­pan, the ROK and the US af­ter Ja­pan’s de­ploy­ment of THAAD, the re­gional se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion in the Asia-Pa­cific will de­te­ri­o­rate, given its al­ready weak con­di­tion.”

We hope the Ja­panese side will play a con­struc­tive role in fa­cil­i­tat­ing peace and sta­bil­ity in the re­gion, in­stead of the op­po­site.” Geng Shuang, For­eign Min­istry spokesman

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