U.S. escalating arms race with China

U.S. escalating arms race with China

U.S. escalating arms race with China

BEIJING - The U.S. Army chief of staff is visiting China amid tensions over American ally South Korea's decision to deploy a powerful missile defense system.

South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-goo will visit Seongju County later today to talk with residents about the deployment of the controversial THAAD anti-missile system.

The THAAD deployment has drawn strong protests from China.

According to the Chunan Ilbo newspaper, the South Korean Navy has signed a deal with the USA arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin on equipping warships with missiles capable of intercepting North Korean ballistic missiles.

Beijing has taken a decidedly different view, however, seeing THAAD as not just a response to North Korean missile launches but as a not very veiled means to contain a Chinese military build-up.

Significantly, North Korea no longer cares if the world sees its test failures, according to the latest analyses, allowing Pyongyang to more openly, aggressively and repeatedly test all of the key components needed for an attack.

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North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test in January and followed up with a satellite launch and a string of test launches of missiles in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

Last month, the United States and South Korea made a decision to have a THAAD battery in the country. China, he said, is trying to stop that trend by aiding Pyongyang. Bloomberg reported on August 12 that "China is considering steps such as limiting imports of South Korean goods and services as it seeks to apply pressure on Seoul not to deploy a USA missile shield system, according to people familiar with the matter".

Chinese state media have published daily attacks against the US and South Korea over the missile defence system and China has cancelled events involving South Korean entertainers.

Beijing also used its diplomatic muscle on August 11 to block a United Nations statement condemning recent North Korean missile tests, which included a medium-range ballistic missile that landed within the waters of Japan's exclusive economic zone.

Gen Milley said the United States wants to maintain open channels of communications with China's military to "reduce the risk of crisis or miscalculation and candidly address differences", the statement said.

Gen. Milley will likely reiterate Washington's position China abide by the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration that ruled China has no legal basis to claim historic rights within the nine-dash line in the South China Sea.

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