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BEIJING, February 5. /TASS/. China has urged the Unites States to take into account its security interests and abstain from the deployment of American global missile defense system elements in South Korea, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Thursday.
"China’s stance on the missile defense issue is consistent and clear. We believe that countries should bear in mind the security interests of other countries as well as regional peace and stability," he said.
According to the diplomat, "We hope that the relevant sides will properly deal with this issue in the overall interest of peace and stability of the whole region as well as the overall interest of bilateral relations," Hong said.
The warning by China’s foreign ministry spokesman came a day after China’s Defense Minister Chang Wanquan held talks with South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo in Seoul on Wednesday, during which Chang expressed concern over Washington’s plan to deploy its Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery in South Korea, Yonhap news agency reported.
South Korea has officially disavowed its intention to join or host the THAAD battery, but the US has said it was considering deploying the advanced missile-defence system to South Korea, home to about 28,500 American troops, to better cope with growing threats of North Korea's nuclear and missile capabilities.
China's opposition to a deployment of the THAAD battery in South Korea has been well known. However, this week's public remarks by Chinese officials, including the defence minister, again proved how it is difficult for South Korea and China to develop common security interests in Northeast Asia, the agency said.
The United States, referring to the "North Korean threat," has recently been trying to redeploy to the Korean Peninsula elements of its missile defence system that is part of the American global missile defence system. China says that Washington’s attempt to involve Seoul in its missile defence system activities may dramatically increase tension in the Asia-Pacific region.
The US has announced plans to reject the deployment of the fourth stage of the missile defense system in Europe and to refocus towards protection against potential North Korea missile attacks. Infographics by TASS