BEIJING, August 21. /TASS/. China will take the necessary countermeasures should the US deploy intermediate range missiles in the Asia-Pacific Region, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Friday.
"If the US side goes ahead with its plans (for deploying intermediate range missiles in the Asia-Pacific Region - TASS), China will take the necessary countermeasures to protect its interests in the field of security," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"China is calling upon the Asia-Pacific countries to realize the real purpose of US actions and their grave effects and to avoid pulling chestnuts out of the fire for others," Zhao said.
Earlier, US special presidential representative for arms control Marshall Billingslea said that Washington was considering the possibility of deploying intermediate range missiles in the Asian region, including Japan. Japanese media reported that the United States had entered into consultations with Tokyo over the deployment of new intermediate range missiles after its pullout from the INF Treaty, but the Japanese authorities have not officially confirmed the beginning of such negotiations yet.
Later, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Moscow regarded these US plans as very risky. Zakharova said that the emergence of new US missiles in the Asia-Pacific Region would trigger another dangerous spiral of the arms race.
"Also, we have to bear in mind that such weapons would create extra missile risks for our territory, including strategic facilities, which would require necessary countermeasures. I would call them compensatory ones," Zakharova said.
On August 2, 2019 the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was terminated at the US initiative. Washington argued that Russia had refused to meet the US ultimatum-like demand for eliminating new generation cruise missiles 9M729, which the United States and its NATO allies see as a violation of the treaty. Moscow dismissed these charges, saying that the technical parameters of the 9M729 missile were within the INF Treaty’s permissible parameters and put forward its own counterclaims over Washington’s non-compliance.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the emergence of US intermediate and shorter-range missiles in Asia would entail a proportionate response and create new threats.