China reiterated Tuesday its opposition to the US deployment of its THAAD missile defence system in South Korea, but at the same time called US President Donald Trump’s reported willingness to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un as a positive step.
“China holds a clear and firm position on the issue of THAAD, said China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang in a Tuesday press conference. “We are against the deployment of THAAD by the US in the ROK (South Korea), and call on the relevant sides to immediately stop the deployment. We will also firmly take necessary measures to defend our own interests.”
Geng Shuang said that it is China’s longstanding stance that the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula should be peacefully resolved through dialogue and consultation.
“We have been calling on all sides to cool down the situation as it is highly complex and sensitive. And an effective way to achieve that goal is to resume contact and talks at an early date,” Geng Shuang said, adding that, “We have noted the remarks recently made by the US side and the positive message in them.”
Geng Shuang said that the US and North Korea, as parties directly concerned on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, should take concrete actions as soon as possible, demonstrate their sincerity, and work hard for an early restart of talks.
“China, as an important party to the issue, has and will continue to do what we can to bring various parties back to contact and dialogue,” Geng Shuang said.
With regard to the treaty between China and North Korea, which involves both sides agreeing to come to each other’s defense in the event of an attack, Geng Shuang wouldn’t comment if China intends to renew the treaty in 2021.
Geng Shuang, however, did stress that China and North Korea are close neighbors with the tradition of friendly exchanges and that the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance Between China and the DPRK is to promote friendly cooperation between the two countries in various fields and safeguard regional peace and security.
Nevertheless, Geng Shuang did admit that, “The current situation on the Korean Peninsula is complex, delicate and highly intense. We urge all relevant parties to keep calm and exercise restraint, instead of taking provocative actions that may escalate the tension.”
When asked if China was concerned about North Korea’s reported new SLBM base located on its west coast as a potential threat, Geng Shuang said that China is committed to the denuclearization on the Peninsula, peace and stability of the Peninsula and settlement of the nuclear issue through dialogue and consultation.
“The UN Security Council has explicit terms on launches by the DPRK using ballistic missile technologies. The Chinese side is opposed to any acts that violate Security Council resolutions,” Geng Shuang added.