US missile system expansion in Asia-Pacific angers China

Tensions are once again running high between the United States and China as Washington plans to expand its missile system in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Pentagon intends to convince Tokyo to allow the installment of a second early-warning radar system, known as X-Band, in southern Japan, Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. 

The new X-Band is planned to complement one that the US had deployed in northern Japan in 2006. The Philippines is also being considered as the potential site for a third X-Band radar in the region, the report said. 

Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey confirmed on Thursday that the US is discussing the topic with Japan, saying that “missile defense is important to both of our nations.” 

Washington claims the system is not directed at China but at North Korea. Military experts, however, maintain that the sophisticated system is well beyond anything necessary to counter Pyongyang. 

China’s Ministry of National Defense said in a Thursday statement that “China has always believed that anti-missile issues should be handled with great discretion, from the perspective of protecting global strategic stability and promoting strategic mutual trust among all countries.” 

“We advocate that all parties fully respect and be mindful of the security concerns of one another and try to realize overall safety through mutual benefit and win-win efforts, while avoiding the situation in which one country tries to let its own state security take priority over other countries’ national security,” the statement further read.

Beijing had also opposed the first 2006 X-Band deployment in Japan. 

Source: Press TV, 25 August 2012

Tom Sullivan