China faults U.S. THAAD anti-missile deployment

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(Xinhua/NAN) China on Thursday resolutely opposed the deployment the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system, pledging to continue real combat-oriented military training and drills to safeguard national security.

Chinese Defence Ministry spokesperson Yang Yujun voiced China’s opposition, while answering a question on the latest development that parts of the THAAD anti-missile defence system were moved to the Republic of Korea for deployment.

He said that the current situation in the Korean Peninsula was complicated and sensitive and that China had been involved in much constructive work for regional peace and stability.

Yang said the Chinese military would carry-out real combat-oriented training and drills, as well as tests on its new-type weaponry to safeguard national security and regional peace and stability.

The U.S. on Wednesday began moving the first elements of the system to South Korea in March after the North tested four ballistic missiles.

South Korea’s defence ministry said elements of THAAD were moved to the deployment site, on what had been a golf course, about 250 kms south of the capital, Seoul.

Officials say the battery was expected to be operational by the end of the year.

The issue triggered protests from villagers in South Korea, amid tension over weapons development in North Korea, which days ago conducted a large live-fire exercise to mark the foundation of its military.

Speaking at a daily news briefing in Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China urged the U.S. and South Korea to withdraw the system.

Seoul and Washington say the sole purpose of the THAAD system is to defend against North Korean missiles, but China is concerned the system’s powerful radar could penetrate its territory and undermine its security, and has repeatedly expressed opposition to it

China has expressed serious concern to Washington and Seoul after the U.S. military started moving parts of its controversial THAAD anti-missile defence system to a deployment site in South Korea.