BEIJING – China threatened countermeasures on Tuesday if the United States deploys intermediate-range, ground-based missiles in Asia and warned U.S. allies of repercussions if they allow such weapons on their territory.
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Saturday he was in favour of placing ground-launched, intermediate-range missiles in the region soon, possibly within months.
“If the U.S. deploys missiles in this part of the world, at the doorstep of China, China will be forced to take countermeasures,” Fu told reporters.
Fu did not specify how China would respond but said “Everything will be on the table” if U.S. allies made allowances for the missiles.
He also reiterated that China had no interest in taking part in any trilateral talks with the United States and Russia to come to new terms on such weapons, arguing that most of China’s missiles could not reach the U.S. heartland.
“Given the huge gap between the nuclear arsenals of China and that of the U.S. and the Russian Federation, I don’t think it is reasonable or even fair to expect China to participate in an arms reduction negotiation at this stage,” Fu said.
Unrestrained by the treaty, China has already been deploying intermediate-range missiles in massive numbers and has installed military equipment on artificial islands it has made in the disputed and energy-rich South China Sea.