BEIJING, August 6 (GCCurrentAffairs) China will take all necessary measures to protect its interests if the United States deploys ground-based medium-range missiles in the Asia-Pacific region, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
On August 3, one day after the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was officially terminated at Washington’s initiative, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he wanted to deploy medium-range conventional missiles in the Asia-Pacific as soon as possible.
On Sunday, the Pentagon released a statement saying that the United States and Australia declared the need for a “new era” in arms control and called on Russia and China to sit at the negotiating table, and without foreclosing the possibility of New START extension.
“China is not going to remain indifferent to the damage being done to its interests. Moreover, we will not allow any state to arrange a mess near our doorstep, we will take all necessary measures to decisively protect our security interests,” the statement said.
The ministry added that the deployment of the US missiles in the Asia-Pacific region would have a negative impact on international and regional security.
The United States formally suspended its obligations under the INF Treaty in February, accusing Russia of numerous violations of the deal. In July, Russian President Vladimir Putin responded by signing a decree that suspended Russia’s participation in the accord.
The INF Treaty requires the United States and Russia to eliminate and permanently forswear all of their nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers (310 to 3,417 miles). Russia has repeatedly denied allegations that it violated the INF Treaty.
New START was signed in 2010 and is currently the only Russian-US arms control deal. Russia has repeatedly stressed that it is open to a dialogue on the future of the treaty.