China urges US, South Korea to cancel THAAD deployment
Iran Press TV
Fri Sep 30, 2016 2:21PM
Beijing has urged Washington to cancel the imminent deployment of a controversial missile system to South Korea, saying that militarization of the Korean Peninsula could "seriously harm the strategic interests of China."
"The US's attempt to deploy THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) anti-missile system neither helps solve problems, denuclearize the peninsula, nor helps maintain peace on the peninsula," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Friday.
"The action will seriously harm the strategic interests of China, and upset the strategic balance in the region."
The United States and South Korea say the deployment of THAAD missile system is needed to counter potential threats posed by North Korea in the wake of Pyongyang's repeated missile and nuclear tests.
China says contentious issues between North and South Korea should be resolved through peaceful channels and dialog.
"We strongly urge the United States and South Korea to do things conducive to peace and stability on the peninsula and take seriously the reasonable concerns of the related countries, including China, and stop immediately the deployment process," Geng Shuang said.
The Chinese official said Beijing might take reciprocal measures in the face of the deployment of THAAD.
"China will take necessary measures to safeguard its national security interests and regional equilibrium."
Geng said in his concluding remarks that "the Korean dispute should and can only be solved in a way that serves every party's interests."
On September 5, in a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Korean President Park Geun-hye, on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, Xi warned his visiting counterpart that the deployment of THAAD in South Korea could further escalate tensions in the region.
"Mishandling the issue is not conducive to strategic stability in the region, and could intensify conflicts," President Xi said.
He also stated that China was committed to international peace and stability.
South Korea's President Park has announced that the system is crucial to the country's national defense and Seoul will go ahead as planned.
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