China, Russia justified in opposing THAAD

By Pan Dawei Source:Global Times Published: 2017/5/3 19:08:39

The militaries of China and Russia held a joint briefing on global and regional anti-missile situations on the sideline of the annual Moscow Conference on International Security in late April. It is the third anti-missile briefing between Beijing and Moscow since the Xiangshan Forum in October, 2016 and the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva in March. The briefing was held just days after the US deployed parts of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system to South Korea. Frequent briefings in such a short span of time demonstrate that Washington's unilateral THAAD deployment has seriously impacted the global strategic balance and security.

The US unilaterally announced to withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in December 2001 on the pretext of protecting itself from "rogue-state missile attacks."

Afterwards, the US has taken gradual steps to put forward its anti-missile plans, deploying ground-based as well as maritime missile defense systems in Romania, Poland and other NATO and eastern European countries.

After years of preparations, Washington announced to deploy the THAAD system in South Korea, citing Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile threats.

Despite the changes of presidents, the White House is firm in its global strategic goal of dominating the world, and insists on building the global missile defense system, disregarding the UN resolutions and other countries' justified interests.

To avoid an arms race and prevent international security from worsening, China and Russia explicitly oppose any country's attempts to unilaterally strengthen the missile defense system and will never allow the system to be deployed at their doorstep. Equal and constructive negotiation on anti-missile issues is the practical choice to find a satisfactory solution for all parties concerned.

China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination is based on the UN Charter and international principles and norms. In international affairs, sovereign equality is the fundamental principle that should be complied with to safeguard the stability of international relations. China and Russia, in accordance with the UN Charter, oppose unilateral military intervention.

Sino-Russian comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination is not directed against any third party, but aims to establish more justified, equal and fair international orders. Therefore, any moves and attempts that run counter to this goal will be denounced and stopped by both Beijing and Moscow.

The joint briefing highlights the two countries' efforts in maintaining global strategic balance and international security. China and Russia urge the international community to act in accordance with the UN Charter and other international laws, to respect the justified interests of all parties concerned in international and regional hotspot issues, and to oppose intervention in other countries' politics.

Beijing and Moscow released a joint statement on strengthening global strategic stability last June. According to the statement, "some countries and military-political alliances seek decisive advantage in military and relevant technology, so as to serve their own interests through use or threat to use of force in international affairs. Such policy resulted in an out-of-control growth of military power and shook the global strategic stability system."

The statement strongly opposes the deployment of the Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense system in Europe and the THAAD system in Northeast Asia. The essence of the statement is echoed by the latest joint briefing, criticizing Washington's gain at others' expenses.

The THAAD deployment is not for defending against North Korea's nuclear threats. Russian military analysts believe that THAAD is a system that is capable of launching cruise missiles. Obviously, this has far exceeded the need to defend Pyongyang's nuclear threats, and has posed direct threats to China and Russia.

In addition, the US may someday argue that THAAD fails to satisfy its defense need and it may deploy missile intercept system in Northeast Asia in the future. The THAAD installment has paved the way for Washington's future anti-missile deployment in the Asia-Pacific region. This has not only jeopardized China's and Russia's strategic security, but also negatively affected regional strategic balance and global security.

Since the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation was signed between Beijing and Moscow in 2001, the two countries have continued to strengthen their strategic negotiations and exchanges, enhance their joint military drills and improve their strategic negotiation mechanisms. The joint briefing reflects the two countries' determination in safeguarding national sovereignty and is an embodiment of their military cooperation.

The author is director with the Center of Russian & Central Asian Studies, Shanghai Academy of Social Science.

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