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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Global Times

Asia must be wary of US missile plan

Global Times

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/4 21:32:26

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Saturday that he was in favor of deploying ground-based intermediate-range missiles in Asia. If that is the case, it will certainly trigger an intense arms race in the region.

The US is greedily pursuing an absolute and all-sided military superiority to consolidate its hegemony. It refuses to accept any relative balance of power. Such a stubborn and overbearing country has become the largest source of Asia's instability.

US deployment of intermediate-range missiles in Asia will break the status quo at the most extent. In addition to an arms race, geopolitical chaos is also likely to be triggered. Its impact will be much more serious than that of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense in South Korea, because intermediate-range missiles are undoubted offensive weapons. Any country accepting US deployment would be against China and Russia, directly or indirectly, and draw fire against itself.

It is foreseeable that Washington will consider Tokyo and Seoul and ask them to accept the deployment. But compared with Europe which was antagonistic to the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact during the Cold War, Japan and South Korea will bear much more risks opposing China and Russia. China is among the two states' most important trading partners. If they assist the US to threaten China and Russia, China-Russia retaliations will cause no less loss to their national interests than those caused by the US pressure.

Asia is the fastest growing region in today's world. Although interstate relations between Asian countries seem rather complicated, a network in which members support and propel each other has been established, and China is now at the center of such a system. Washington's intention to hit China is in fact a bid to smash the system which is creating prosperity. The US is turning its sense of crisis into confrontations among Asian countries.

Asian countries must collectively resist the US' attempt in creating new crisis in this region and prevent it from provoking extreme arms races and forcing all countries to take sides.

Particularly Japan and South Korea must remain sober. Their interests have been diverse due to Asia's vigorous development. The US is no longer their only source of benefits. The two countries' relations with both China and Russia have stayed largely smooth and economic cooperation is expanding. It will be their nightmare if they follow the US to start a new Cold War.

The US must accept the rise of China and other Asian countries. It should never strong-arm Asian states, including China and Russia. In fact, we do not believe the US can succeed in drawing its Asian allies over to its side even if Washington persists. Its Asian allies hope to maintain relations with both the US and China, and are reluctant to take sides.

China's economic strength can sustain a much larger defense budget than now. The US should not start a new lose-lose game and let the Asian arms race grow out of control. It will only force China to build a super weapons arsenal, certainly not in line with long-term US interests.

It is believed that China and Russia will strengthen strategic coordination and join hands to resist the US plan. It is hoped that Japan and South Korea will not turn themselves to cannon-fodder in the aggressive US Asian policy.

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