Beijing looks to safeguard region’s parity

BEIJING (China Daily/ANN) - Military weighs 'security measures' for national security, strategic balance.

UPDATE: Format of the summary and body text updated.

The Chinese military said on Thursday (July 28) that it will consider taking “necessary measures” to protect national security and regional strategic balance, in response to the decision by the United States and South Korea to deploy an advanced missile defence system in the latter.

China seeks development of its own missile defence system, Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun confirmed at the ministry’s monthly news conference.

“We will closely follow relative moves of the US and South Korea and will consider taking necessary measures to protect national strategic security and regional strategic balance,” Yang said.

Yang also responded to a report on Monday in PLA Daily that quoted missile defence expert Chen Deming as saying that Beijing has the capabilities for a land-based defence system to intercept missiles midway in their trajectory.

“China seeks moderate development of its anti-missile capabilities to protect national security and raise defence capabilities. It is not targeting any country or target and will not impact global strategic stability,” Yang said.

Washington and Seoul said in a joint announcement on July 8 that the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system will be deployed to deal with North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.

China and Russia expressed strong opposition to the system, whose radar will be capable of monitoring missiles in the two countries, saying it will destabilise the balance of security in the region.

Xie Yongliang, an expert at the PLA’s Academy of Military Sciences, said the repeated success of China’s midcourse missile defence tests shows that “China has fully grasped key technologies about anti-ballistic missiles”.

Ruan Zongze, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, said it is unwise for Seoul to accept the deployment of THAAD on its territory.

“China and Russia will certainly strengthen military implementation targeted at the THAAD system, which will actually push the ROK to the front line of confrontation of major powers”.

Yang also announced that China and Russia have decided to hold a joint military exercise in the South China Sea in September. He said the “routine” exercise will deepen ties between the two nations and two militaries and “strengthen the two navies’ capabilities to jointly handle security threats from the sea”, adding that it is not targeted at third parties.

China and Russia have held joint maritime exercises annually since 2012. The two countries take turns holding the drills in their adjacent waters.

Vladimir Petrovsky, a researcher at the Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said the regional tensions have become a common concern for both countries, and military cooperation such as joint drills is a good way to respond to threats in the region.

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