24 February 2015
China’s dogged opposition to the potential deployment of an additional U.S. missile defense asset to South Korea has raised questions over Beijing’s true intensions, given that the interception system does not pose any serious security threat to China.
Some assume the opposition to the Theater High-Altitude Area Defense system is intended to forestall any potential negative ramifications for China’s security. Others say the dissent appears designed to weaken the South Korea-U.S. alliance.
Despite the fact that THAAD is a wholly defensive system capable of targeting only North Korean missiles directed at South Korea, top Chinese officials ― most recently China’s Defense Minister Gen. Chang Wanquan ― have repeatedly voiced opposition to THAAD.
…“China views the introduction of THAAD in South Korea as a new capability that could potentially, in the long term, offset China’s ballistic missiles that serve as power projecting platforms, while increasing Beijing’s strategic and political leverage,” said Michael Raska, research fellow at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, affiliated with Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
GPO / IDSS / Online
Last updated on 01/12/2015