China and Russia will hold their second joint anti-missile drills next year. The announcement comes as Seoul and Washington prepare to dispatch their US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system to protect the Korean peninsula from any North Korean threats. Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with Chinese international relations expert Viktor Gao.
“The US and the government of South Korea have agreed to install the anti-missile system in South Korea. China has staunchly expressed its [opposition] to such a deployment. The THAAD is a very powerful system that not only covers the territory of North Korea, but also expends far into Chinese territory thus changing the equilibrium on the Korean peninsula, as well as in large parts of China,” Viktor Gao said.
He added that the US missile system will also extend into large areas of Russia. Therefore, China has every legitimate reason to oppose this and will work very closely with countries, including Russia, to reject such a provocative deployment.
South Korea decided to deploy the US THAAD missile defense system on its territory. The system is expected to engage at the end of 2017. Washington and Seoul cited a missile threat from North Korea as the reason for the deployment.
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