Se­cu­rity risk seen in an­timissle setup

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA - By HONG XIAO at the United Na­tions xi­ao­hong@chi­nadai­

The de­vel­op­ment of mis­sile de­fense sys­tems should be sub­ject to in­ter­na­tional law, with the safe­guard­ing of a “com­mon se­cu­rity en­vi­ron­ment” a pre­con­di­tion, a Chi­nese mil­i­tary of­fi­cial said on Thurs­day at a China-Rus­sia joint briefing at the United Na­tions.

“Rel­e­vant coun­tries should rec­og­nize safe­guard­ing the com­mon se­cu­rity en­vi­ron­ment as the over­rid­ing in­ter­est, stop de­vel­op­ing mis­sile de­fense sys­tems in­com­pat­i­ble to the ac­tual threats they face, and avoid harm­ing the se­cu­rity in­ter­ests of other rel­e­vant par­ties,” said Zhou Shang­ping, Chi­nese rep­re­sen­ta­tive and deputy di­rec­tor of the Op­er­a­tion Bu­reau un­der the Joint Staff Depart­ment un­der China’s Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion. Zhou spoke at a briefing on the side­lines of the Gen­eral As­sem­bly.

The United States and the Repub­lic of Korea this year be­gan in­stalling the THAAD (Ter­mi­nal High-Al­ti­tude Area De­fense) anti-mis­sile de­fense sys­tem in the ROK, with more mis­sile in­ter­cep­tors planned, over China’s ob­jec­tions.

It was the third briefing that Chi­nese and Rus­sian mil­i­tary of­fi­cials have jointly held on the anti-mis­sile is­sue this year.

The anti-mis­sile is­sue has a pro­found and long-term im­pact on global strate­gic bal­ance and sta­bil­ity, peace and se­cu­rity, as well as arms con­trol and the dis­ar­ma­ment process, Zhou said.

Seek­ing ab­so­lute se­cu­rity of one’s own at the cost of the se­cu­rity of oth­ers by de­vel­op­ing global mis­sile de­fense sys­tems in­evitably ex­ac­er­bate the in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity en­vi­ron­ment, dis­rupt global strate­gic bal­ance and sta­bil­ity and trig­ger con­fronta­tion or even an arms race, Zhou said.

Zhou said that he hopes all coun­tries start from the per­spec­tive of main­tain­ing global and re­gional strate­gic sta­bil­ity and en­hanc­ing strate­gic mu­tual trust among coun­tries; that they fully un­der­stand the detri­ment of the “ob­ses­sive de­vel­op­ment” of the global mis­sile de­fense pro­gram, and fun­da­men­tally ad­dress nu­clear dis­ar­ma­ment and non-pro­lif­er­a­tion is­sues through po­lit­i­cal and diplo­matic means.

The US de­ploy­ment of mis­sile de­fense sys­tems in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion se­ri­ously jeop­ar­dizes the strate­gic in­ter­ests of China, Rus­sia and other coun­tries, Zhou said.

“China strongly urges the US and the ROK to at­tend to the strate­gic se­cu­rity in­ter­ests and con­cerns of coun­tries, in­clud­ing China and Rus­sia, and take back their wrong de­ci­sion and with­draw rel­e­vant fa­cil­i­ties,” Zhou said.

Alek­sandr Emelianov, of the Rus­sian De­fense Min­istry in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion com­mit­tee, said that the de­vel­op­ment of the global anti-mis­sile sit­u­a­tion is a ma­jor is­sue of in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity and has a pro­found im­pact on the process of nu­clear dis­ar­ma­ment and strate­gic sta­bil­ity.

Emelianov said that the United States’ uni­lat­eral with­drawal from the Anti-Bal­lis­tic Mis­sile Treaty (ABM Treaty) and its es­tab­lish­ment of the global anti-mis­sile sys­tem have un­der­mined the cur­rent in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity sys­tem and bro­ken the strate­gic bal­ance and could lead to an arms race that would gen­er­ate un­pre­dictable con­se­quences, in­clud­ing low­er­ing the thresh­old for the use of nu­clear weapons, im­pair­ing the of­fense-de­fense force bal­ance and even threat­en­ing space se­cu­rity.

In Oc­to­ber 2016, China and Rus­sia held their first joint briefing on the anti-mis­sile is­sue in Bei­jing on the side­lines of the Sev­enth Xiang­shan Fo­rum. In March, the two sides held a joint briefing on global and re­gional anti-mis­sile sit­u­a­tions in Geneva on the side­lines of the on­go­ing Con­fer­ence on Dis­ar­ma­ment.

The lat­est briefing was held in April on the side­lines of the an­nual Moscow Con­fer­ence on In­ter­na­tional Se­cu­rity.

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