Chinese defense ministry reaffirms opposition to THAAD system in ROK

Source:China Military Online Editor:Ouyang 2016-11-08

BEIJING, Nov. 8 (ChinaMil) -- China's Defense Ministry voiced its opinions Monday on media reports which blamed the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to be deployed in the Republic of Korea (ROK) as the main cause for China’s passive attitude toward contacts between the defense departments of the two countries.

When asked about the response of the Chinese side to the media reports, the Information Bureau under the Chinese Defense Ministry told the press that China resolutely opposes the United States’ moves to deploy the THAAD system in the ROK and such a stance is clear and will not change. We hope the ROK side will cherish the progress having been made in bilateral military ties, the bureau said.

According to the Yonhap News Agency, an official from the ROK’s Defense Ministry said neither the ROK Defense Minister’s planned visit to China nor a ROK-China strategic defense dialogue will happen within this year as previously scheduled. There are also reports saying the main cause for China’s passive attitude toward communication between the defense departments of the two countries was the THAAD issue.

China attaches importance to developing military-to-military ties with the ROK and is willing to carry out exchanges and cooperation in the field of defense affairs on the basis of respecting each other’s security interests, the bureau noted.

In addition, the bureau stated that China hopes the ROK side, proceeding from maintaining regional peace and stability as well as the fundamental interests of the two peoples, will be careful when addressing issues concerning China’s strategic security interests, so as to create favorable conditions for smooth development of relations between the two countries as well as their militaries.