BEIJING – Chinese medium and intermediate-range missiles are confined within the country’s borders, a senior Chinese foreign ministry official said, warning the US against deploying its forces to Beijing’s doorstep.
“Our medium and intermediate-range missiles are stationed on our territory. They don’t pose a threat to the US – at least, if the US doesn’t deploy their ships too close to our territory,” head of the Arms Control Department of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Fu Cong stated on Friday, RT reported.
Speaking at an arms control event in Moscow, Fu stressed that deploying American missiles in the region would be a “provocative, destabilizing act”.
“The US talks about placing their medium and intermediate-range ship-based missiles close to China, near our doorstep. It would immediately pose a threat to our crucial launching pads and sites. It would be a threat to the survival of Chinese nuclear forces,” he added.
The Pentagon jump-started the development of new medium and intermediate-range missiles after the US unilaterally withdrew from the landmark 1987 INF Treaty with Russia in August, which banned all land-based missiles with ranges between 500 and up to 5,500km (3,420 miles) and their launchers.
In the same month, Defense Secretary Mark Esper spoke in favor of deploying mid-range missiles in Asia. Esper’s words angered Chinese officials, who have been warning that any attempts to move the missiles closer to China would undermine regional peace and stability.
“Should that happen, China would have no choice but to take necessary countermeasures in defense of its national security,” Fu noted last month.