The test launch of a THAAD missile defense system on Wake Island in the Pacific
The Chinese military responded on Apr. 27 to the accelerating deployment of the THAAD missile defense system in South Korea by announcing plans for a “specific exercise and training” response.
Speaking at a regular briefing on Apr. 27, Chinese Ministry of National Defense spokesperson Yang Yujun addressed the deployment’s hastening with the surprise delivery of key THAAD components the day before to the Seongju golf course site in North Gyeongsang Province.
“The deployment of the THAAD system in the ROK damages regional strategic balance and stability, which the Chinese side firmly opposes,” Yang said.
“The Chinese side will continue to conduct specific exercise and training, and continue with the operational tests of new equipment and weapons, resolutely safeguarding national security and regional peace and stability,” he continued.
A number of terms in Yang’s remarks appeared for the first time that day, including “specific exercise and training under the background of real combat,” and “new equipment and weapons,” although Yang did not mention what they referred to specifically. Yang’s only comment was to say, “Right now, the situation in the Korean Peninsula is complicated and sensitive. For the overall benefit of the regional peace and stability, the Chinese side has done a lot in a constructive manner to promote peace and dialogue.”
In a briefing in March, Defense Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian said the Chinese military’s opposition to THAAD would not “stay on words only.”
At the VI Moscow Conference on International Security in Russia on Apr. 26, Chinese and Russian military leaders objected to the THAAD deployment in South Korea as an expansion of the US’s global missile defense system and vowed to take additional measures. Presenting from the Chinese side, Major General Cai Jun, deputy chief of the general operations bureau for the Chinese Central Military Commission’s Joint Staff Department, said China and Russia would “take additional measures in response to [the THAAD deployment] to guard their security interests and strategic balance in the region.”
“The THAAD deployment could raise regional tensions and lead to a full-scale arms race,” Cai warned.
By Kim Oi-hyun, Beijing correspondent
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