On Tuesday, China has warned that it would take unstated countermeasures if the United States goes beyond its plan to deploy ground-based missile in the Asia-Pacific Region.
The comment was recorded days after the United States Defense Secretary Mark Esper claims that the United States is now free to post weapons, following its last week’s withdrawal from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia.
Arms Control Director at the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Fu Cong was quoted saying, “China will not stand idly by and will be forced to take countermeasures should the US deploy intermediate-range ground-based missiles in this part of the world.”
“And we also call on our neighbours, our neighbouring countries, to exercise prudence and not to allow a US deployment of its intermediate-range missiles on (their) territory,” said Mr. Cong, naming Japan, Australia, and South Korea.
He continued, “That would not serve the national security interests of these countries.”
On Monday, Australia has ruled out the possibility of the missiles being positioned on its soil, claims Canberra hadn’t even been asked to host them.
The INF Treaty was considered to be a basis of global arms control architecture but the United States claims that the bilateral talks had offered other nations, mainly China, free rein to develop long-range missiles.
The New Chief of Pentagon, Esper said that Washington would like to deploy missile “sooner rather than later,” talked with reporters on a flight to Sydney at the start of a week-long tour of Asia.
“I would prefer months… But these things tend to take longer than you expect,” he said.
It was the latest United States plan to irk China, which is competing with Washington for region-based influence, but Esper claims that Beijing should not be surprised.
The rise of a militarily more deceived China in the region has worried traditional United States allies, such as New Zealand and Australia, and Beijing’s steps in the South China Sea have alert neighbours with competing territorial claims to strategic waterway.
However, Esper didn’t detailed whether the United States has intended to deploy weapons but experts said that the most likely place for deployment is the Guam Island, which hosting vital United States military facilities.
On Friday, Washington has withdrawn from the INF Treaty, after it accused Russia of violation.
Under the deal signed in 1987 by then United States President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Moscow and Washington has agreed to limit the use of nuclear missiles and conventional with a range of 500-5,000 Kilometres (300-3,000 miles).
But the untangled had been on the cards for months amid worsening of ties between the United States and Russia