A senior Chinese official has reiterated Beijing’s opposition to a US deployment of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to South Korea.
"We urge the parties concerned to stop immediately the deployment of THAAD and not to go too far down the erroneous road,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said at a regular news briefing in the capital, Beijing, on Thursday.
He expressed hope that China and South Korea would “seek a proper solution that will take into account the concerns of both sides through communication and consultation.”
The spokesman made the remarks following a meeting between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and a delegation of the Minjoo Party of South Korea on Wednesday to talks about THAAD deployment.
Vincent Brooks, the commander of US forces in South Korea, said in early November 2016 that the US will deploy its THAAD system to South Korea within eight to 10 months.
The United States and South Korea have agreed to deploy the THAAD system in the Southeast Asian country to protect it against North Korea’s alleged threats. THAAD has been designed to intercept ballistic missiles inside or just outside the atmosphere during their final phase of flight.
The US and South Korean governments are also reportedly discussing the deployment of rotating strategic weapons on the Korean Peninsula to allegedly counter potential threats from Pyongyang.
Russia and China have warned against a possible deployment of an advanced US missile system on the volatile Korean Peninsula.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that North Korea’s missile tests should not become a pretext for the US to deploy the THAAD system in South Korea.
Senior Chinese officials say the deployment of THAAD in South Korea by the US will seriously disturb regional strategic balance and undermine security in the region.
The Korean Peninsula has been locked in a cycle of military rhetoric since the Korean War, which lasted from 1950 to 1953. No peace deal has been signed since then, meaning that Pyongyang and Seoul remain technically at war.