Articles by "China"

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) waves to the press as he walks with US President Donald Trump at the Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida, April 7, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
US President Donald Trump says China has failed to persuade North Korea to rein in its nuclear program, ratcheting up the rhetoric after an American student detained by Pyongyang died days after his release.
Trump has been seeking greater cooperation from China to put pressure on its ally North Korea.
Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping had a high-profile summit in Florida in April, where Trump said he hoped Xi would help resolve the North Korean standoff.
"While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!" Trump wrote in a tweet.
It was unclear whether Trump's remark represented a shift in US policy toward China or he was simply expressing frustration with North Korea.
"I think the president is signaling some frustration," former US ambassador to South Korea Christopher Hill told MSNBC. "He’s signaling to others that he understands this isn’t working, and he’s trying to defend himself, or justify himself, by saying that at least they tried as opposed to others who didn’t even try."
A US official said Tuesday that US spy satellites had picked up movements at North Korea's nuclear test site near a tunnel entrance.
It was not known if the movements were preparations for a new nuclear test - perhaps to coincide with high-level talks between US and Chinese officials in Washington on Wednesday.
This undated picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis will meet with China's State Councilor Yang Jiechi, and General Fang Fenghui, chief of joint staff of the People’s Liberation Army, for diplomatic and security dialogue.
Officials and experts have warned for months that Pyongyang could carry out a sixth nuclear test at any time.
North Korea says it will not give up on its nuclear deterrence unless Washington ends its hostile policy toward Pyongyang and dissolves the US-led UN command in South Korea.
On Tuesday, the US State Department urged North Korea to release “as soon as possible” three Americans who are still detained by Pyongyang, following the death of Otto Warmbier.
Otto Frederick Warmbier, a University of Virginia student, attends a news conference in Pyongyang, North Korea, on February 29, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)
"We hold North Korea accountable for Otto Warmbier's unjust imprisonment," department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said at a news briefing.
Warmbier was released on June 13 in a state of coma after Joseph Yun, the State Department’s special envoy on North Korea, paid a visit to Pyongyang and demanded his release.
Trump called Warmbier’s death a "total disgrace," adding that the college student might have been alive if he had been brought home sooner.

This May 15, 2017, photo shows crew members onboard a Chinese Navy frigate along the strait near Changi Naval Base in Singapore. (Photo by AFP)
A fleet of Chinese military vessels have embarked on a journey toward the Baltic Sea to participate in joint drills with Russia.
AFP quoting Chinese state media as saying on Monday that three ships, headed by the Changsha destroyer, steamed toward Russia’s coasts at the Baltic Sea to link up with Russian vessels for drills near St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad in late July.
The fleet would include Chinese marines and ship-borne helicopters, according to Xinhua news agency.
China and Russia have been holding military exercises dubbed “Joint Sea” since 2012. The two have taken turns in hosting the drills, which many say are meant to counter the United States’ expanding naval activities in waters surrounding them.
The war games will take place at a sensitive political time, as US President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit NATO ally Poland, a country on the Baltic Sea, on July 5-6 ahead of his participation in the G20 summit in Germany.
Russia has been irked by NATO’s growing inclination to expand eastward while the Western military alliance has also increased its buildup along Russia’s western borders after a conflict erupted in Ukraine three years ago. Trump’s way of handling NATO and his criticism of European partners about their financial contribution to the alliance have raised questions about the extent of US president’s commitment to future NATO missions. Many expect Trump to revise his position during the visit to Poland next month.
Xinhua said this year’s edition of the joint drills with Russia would "improve coordination between the two navies on joint defense operations at sea.”
It added that the main objective was “to consolidate and advance the Sino-Russian comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, and deepen friendly and practical cooperation between the two militaries.”
Russia joined Chinese ships in previous year’s drills in the South China Sea, a disputed vital trade route where other countries of the region challenge China’s construction of artificial islands.

Philip Alston, the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, attends a news conference in Beijing, China, August 23, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)
Beijing has criticized a United Nations rights envoy for demanding the release of an activist, saying the official has clearly overstepped his mandate and is meddling with China’s judiciary system.
In an address to a Geneva forum on rights on Thursday, Chinese diplomat Jiang Yingfeng said that Philip Alston, UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, had interfered with his country’s judicial sovereignty by including a plea for the release of lawyer and activist Jiang Tianyong.
"The special rapporteur referenced certain human rights defenders in his report and in so doing he has overstepped his mandate and meddled with China's judicial sovereignty,” the diplomat said.
The envoy hailed the “objective and fair” nature of the report by Alston, which commended China for achievements in fighting poverty. However, he said that China would not allow individuals to cover up their activities "using the banner of human rights."
Despite praising China’s rapid pace in economic development, Alston said in his report that inequality was still "high and is rising" in the country.
The UN official also lamented that space for the expression of views that differ from those of the ruling party was shrinking in China, calling on the authorities to release the activist, whom Alston met in Beijing during a trip to China in August. 
File photo shows Chinese lawyer and human rights activist Jiang Tianyong. 
Jiang Tianyong, a critical of Beijing’s alleged crackdown on rights, was reportedly arrested last November. He was disqualified as a lawyer in 2009 after defending high-profile dissidents and practitioners of Falun Gong, the banned spiritual movement.
Alston said China’s charge of subversion of state power against Jiang was "extremely serious" and "the equivalent of a legal sledgehammer". The Australian professor on international law rejected China’s claims that calls for the release of an activist could violate a country’s judicial sovereignty.
"I of course do not agree that there is something called judicial sovereignty which would lead a Special Rapporteur or this Council not to reflect on cases that appear to violate human rights, appear to be unjust, even if they are part of the judicial process,” he said. 

China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying speaks during a weekly news briefing in capital, Beijing, June 7, 2017.
China has firmly rejected the “irresponsible” claims made in a report by the US Defense Department, which accused Beijing of seeking to expand its military footprint globally.
In a 106-page annual report titled Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China and published on Tuesday, the Pentagon highlighted what it said were Chinese military ambitions.
“China most likely will seek to establish additional military bases in countries with which it has a long-standing friendly relationship and similar strategic interests, such as Pakistan, and in which there is a precedent for hosting foreign militaries,” the report said.
It also focused on the South China Sea, where China is involved in territorial disputes with some of its neighbors, including Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
The Pentagon said that, in the previous year, China had deployed intermediate-range Dongfeng-26 missiles, which are purportedly capable of delivering nukes to ground targets in the Western Pacific. The rockets, the report added, could also be used for conventional strikes against ships in the region, including those sailing in the South China Sea.
It speculated that China had spent some $180 billion on its military last year, higher than the officially declared figure of $144.3 billion.
In reaction, China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a weekly news briefing on Wednesday that the country’s military, being “defensive in nature,” was only a force to safeguard peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
China only followed the “path of peaceful development,” she said.
“China’s national defense is for the purpose of upholding national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, which are a sovereign state’s legitimate rights,” she further said, adding that the Pentagon’s report had been compiled in “disregard” of facts and contained “irresponsible remarks” on the Chinese military.
“We firmly oppose it,” she said.
Hua also strongly urged US officials to discard the Cold War mindset and to try to view Beijing’s military development in an “objective and rational light.”
China-Pakistan relations
Elsewhere in her remarks, the Chinese spokeswoman commented on China-Pakistan relations, stressing that the two neighbors were traditional friends and had conducted broad cooperation in various fields for win-win results and mutual interests for a long period of time.
“The China-Pakistan friendly cooperation does not target any third party and conforms to each other’s international commitments,” Hua added.
Beijing has been increasingly gravitating toward Islamabad over its Belt and Road Initiative, a regional infrastructure project, much to the annoyance to Pakistan’s arch-rival India.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a series of roads, railways, pipelines, hydropower plants and other development projects, being built from Xinjiang Province in China to the port city of Gwadar in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan.
China has also long been a strong military, economic, and diplomatic supporter of Pakistan and is considered Islamabad’s largest trade and defense partner.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying
China has denounced as "irresponsible remarks" what US Secretary of Defense James Mattis said about Beijing's "militarization" of the South China Sea during a security forum at the weekend.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the comment in a statement late on Sunday after Mattis accused China of showing “contempt” for other nations' interests and disregarding international law.
The Pentagon chief had also mentioned in the Singapore defense summit that the “construction” and “militarization” of artificial islands in the South China Sea would undermine regional stability.
Hua, reacting to Mattis’ remarks, said, "China has indisputable sovereignty over the (Spratly) Islands and their adjacent waters," adding that the sovereign activities undertaken by Beijing had nothing to do with militarization.
US Pentagon Chief Jim Mattis delivers a speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue Summit in Singapore on June 3, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said countries around the South China Sea had tried to lower tensions, but others outside the region "have been bent on going against the trend, making repeated erroneous remarks, ignoring the facts and confusing black from white with entirely ulterior motives."
"China is resolutely opposed to this and urges the concerned parties to stop issuing irresponsible remarks and fully respect the efforts of the countries in the region to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea and play a constructive role in this regard," she said.
Hua further noted that China had always respected freedom of navigation but opposed shows of military force in the South China Sea in the name of such exercises as threats to China's sovereignty and security.
Last Wednesday, a US Navy warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of a disputed South China Sea island controlled by China, the first such challenge to Beijing since US President Donald Trump took office.
China has repeatedly warned the United States against any military activities in the South China Sea.
Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. (Photo by Reuters)
The South China Sea is located between China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei and hosts one of the world’s busiest waterways and is believed to be rich in mineral and gas deposits and fishing grounds. The neighboring countries have long disputed the ownership of the territories in the water body, through which about $5 trillion of global sea-borne trade passes each year.
However, Beijing claims all the contested sea, including waters and rocks close to the shores of neighbors, and has been building artificial islands and installing military equipment on them, including on some reefs in the Spratly chain, which are also claimed by Manila.
The regional military presence of the United States, which always takes sides with China’s rival claimants in the disputed waters, has been a source of concern for China’s leadership.

Heads of state of SCO members pose for a group photo at their Tashkent summit in June 2016.
A senior Chinese diplomat has thrown his country’s weight behind Iran’s membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), an emerging economic and security alliance jointly led by China and Russia.
“China welcomes and supports Iran's wish to become a formal member of the SCO," Assistant Chinese Foreign Minister Li Huilai told reporters on Monday, ahead of the group's summit in the Kazakh capital of Astana this week.
He added that Iran currently has an observer status in the organization and has for a long time “proactively participated” in its activities and has made positive contributions to the SCO's development.
"China highly appraises this. I think that at this meeting all sides will continue to conscientiously study the issue of Iran becoming a member on the basis of the SCO's relevant rules and consensus through consultations," the Chinese diplomat said.
China has close economic and diplomatic relations with Iran and played an instrumental role in pushing through the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Although Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had supported Iran’s full-fledged SCO membership, the body last year failed to initiate the accession process for Iran which expected to make it into the group after the implementation of the JCPOA and the lifting of sanctions.  
Li further noted that Pakistan and India would also formally join the SCO as members at the Astana summit, saying that the organization is becoming more attractive among others and its influence continues to increase.
"More and more countries have said they hope to become dialogue partners, observers or formal members of the SCO. China welcomes countries who want to and who meet the conditions to apply to become members, observers or dialogue partners," he added.
The SCO was formed in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan to curb extremism in the region and enhance border security.
The intergovernmental organization seeks to strengthen mutual trust and good neighborly ties between the member countries, contribute to regional stability and facilitate cooperation in different sectors, including political, trade, economic and energy issues.
The SCO counts six observer states, namely Iran, Afghanistan, Belarus, India, Mongolia and Pakistan. It has six dialogue partners, including Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka.

China will "steadfastly" implement the Paris climate pact, Premier Li Keqiang says, urging others to do likewise as US President Donald Trump was due to announce whether he would keep Washington in the deal.
"China will continue to implement promises made in the Paris Agreement, to move towards the 2030 goal step by step steadfastly," Li said in a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Thursday.
"But of course, we also hope to do this in cooperation with others," added Li.
China has been investing billions in clean energy infrastructure, as its leaders seek to clear up the choking pollution enveloping its biggest cities, including Beijing.
Li stressed that it was in China's own interest to stick to the climate deal.
"Once China's development reaches a certain level, it has to move to a sustainable model, that means we have to push green development," he said.
In Berlin, Li and Merkel oversaw the signing of a slew of deals, including electric car projects between Germany's biggest automobile groups, Volkswagen and Daimler, with Chinese companies.
China and the US are together responsible for some 40 percent of the world's emissions and experts have warned that it is vital for both to remain in the Paris agreement if it is to have any chance of succeeding.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying
China has once again expressed opposition to the deployment of an advanced US missile system in South Korea, calling on Seoul to remove the controversial Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the remark at a regular press briefing in Beijing on Thursday.
South Korea and the US say the sole purpose of the THAAD system, which is meant to intercept and destroy short- and medium-range ballistic missiles during their final phase of flight, is to guard against potential threats from North Korea.
But China’s state-owned media, citing a statement from the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said the “deployment will severely damage China’s security interests and undermine the regional strategic balance.”
The statement further said that Beijing was “gravely concerned” over reports about new THAAD launchers, which have been installed in addition to the two that had already been deployed.
A THAAD missile is seen being launched during a test in this undated handout photo provided by the US Department of Defense. (Via Reuters)
Earlier this week, South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced that documents submitted to him after being sworn into office had been intentionally censored to conceal information on the installment of four new rocket launchers.
Moon’s spokesman, Yoon Young-chan, said all military officials involved in generating the report admitted that these key parts had been removed from the text in the editing process.
North Korea and China believe the THAAD deployment is meant to expand US hegemony. They also believe that the deployment of the US missile system on the Korean Peninsula would destabilize the region’s security by upsetting the military status quo.

Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang gives a joint press conference with the German Chancellor (not in picture) after representatives of both countries signed economic agreements at the end of Li’s two-day visit to Germany on June 1, 2017 in Berlin. / AFP PHOTO / Tobias SCHWARZ
China will “steadfastly” implement the Paris climate pact, Premier Li Keqiang said Thursday, urging others to do likewise as US President Donald Trump was due to announce whether he will keep Washington in the deal.
“China will continue to implement promises made in the Paris Agreement, to move towards the 2030 goal step by step steadfastly,” Li said in a Berlin joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“But of course, we also hope to do this in cooperation with others,” added Li.
China has been investing billions in clean energy infrastructure, as its leaders seek to clear up the notorious choking pollution enveloping its biggest cities, including Beijing.
Li stressed that it was in China’s own interest to stick to the climate deal.
“Once China’s development reaches a certain level, it has to move to a sustainable model, that means we have to push green development,” he said.
In Berlin, Li and Merkel oversaw the signing of a slew of deals including electric car projects between Germany’s biggest automobile groups, Volkswagen and Daimler, with Chinese companies.
China and the US are together responsible for some 40 percent of the world’s emissions and experts have warned that it is vital for both to remain in the Paris agreement if it is to have any chance of succeeding.

This May 2015 photo, shows land reclamation of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands by China. Photo/AP
Beijing is building an underwater observation system across the disputed East and South China seas in a move which could heighten tensions across the region.
According to State broadcaster CCTV, the "networks will also serve as a platform to provide long-term observation data and support experiments in the research of the maritime environments of the two seas."
The $400 million project has already sparked some concerns that it could be used detect the movement of foreign ships and feed information back to China.
The emergence of the network, which is expected to take five years to build, also comes as one expert warned Australia needs to be better prepared for China's "undersea military robots".
Beijing said the network, which will be built in the East China Sea and South China Sea, will "conduct around-the-clock, real-time, high-definition, multiple interface, and three-dimensional observations.

According to Greg Austin, a Professor in the Australian Centre for Cyber Security at the University of New South Wales (Canberra), Australia shouldn't feel any sense of imminent threat from China's undersea surveillance systems.China could also use the system as a form of surveillance on shipping movements and traffic which could impede the movement of US submarines across the sea.
However Prof Austin, an expert with 34 years of experience in China affairs, said we did need to be prepared in other areas.
"Australia needs to be prepared for China's undersea military robots, and will have to be better prepared for its undersea surveillance system," he said.
Prof Austin also pointed out that the United States already has a very powerful undersea surveillance system, called SOSUS, which has been in place for the past 50 years and in the South China Sea for almost as long.
"Since China is looking to become a major military power, it will develop similar capabilities, though not with the global reach of the US system," he said.
"The main difference now both for SOSUS and any new technologies for undersea surveillance is that they are supported by highly advanced information technologies giving real time correlation between SOSUS data and other forms of surveillance, especially space-based military satellites."
Prof Austin also said it was important to remember that the US Navy is far superior to the capability of the Chinese Navy and on current projections will remain so for decades.
He did however acknowledge there are potential downsides to this system.
"Like all forms of military surveillance and reconnaissance, while they have a potential negative effect on combat operations in wartime, in peacetime (as today) they do offer the sponsoring country added security that they know what other countries, potential adversaries are doing," he said.
A photo released last month shows Chinese structures and an airstrip on the man-made Subi Reef at the Spratly group of islands in the South China Sea. Photo/AP

'China an ocean power'

Jian Zhimin, dean of School of Marine and Earth Sciences, Tongji University told CCTV, the underwater observation system was a big step forwards for China.
"The devices will be placed down on the seabed through optical cables, in other words, build a laboratory undersea to collect and send data back to us," he said.
"China is an ocean power; it should have done more in oceanic studies in the past. An ocean power must be able to go to the high seas and go global."
University Professor Zhou Huaiyang said the system had benefits other than scientific research and could be used for mining, mapping or ocean rights protection.
Carl Thayer, a regional security analyst and emeritus professor at the University of New South Wales told CNN the China could use the network to lay sensors designed to detect warships and submarines.
"This would be of direct concern to the United States and other regional states that operate submarines," he said.

Dispute grows

The emergence of the observation system is the latest concern to be raised surrounding China's dominance in the South China Sea.
China has ongoing territorial disputes in both the East and South China Sea.
Just last month the controversy over disputed territory in the South China Sea heated up after a new report warned China has almost completed construction of three mysterious man-made islands.
The Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) analysed recent satellite photos and revealed runways, aircraft hangers, radar sites and hardened surface-to-air missile shelters have either been finished or are close to it.
The strategic bases will give China the ability to deploy combat aircraft and other military assets across the disputed region.
The islands - Subi, Mischief and Fiery Cross reefs - are part of the Spratly chain, which is claimed in whole or in part by China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei.
The emergence of Beijing's man-made islands have sparked criticism from other nations including the US, who have accused China of further militarising the region.
According to the Lowy Institute, the South China Sea is a critical commercial gateway for a significant portion of the world's merchant shipping and an "important economic and strategic subregion of the Indo-Pacific" and the site of ongoing disputes.
It also contains rich fishing grounds as well as significant reserves of undiscovered oil and gas.

A file photo of a Chinese J-10 fighter jet
China has rejected US allegations that a recent encounter between two Chinese fighter jets and an American surveillance plane over the South China Sea was “unsafe and unprofessional.”
The rejection came on Sunday after Pentagon spokesman Commander Gary Ross said Chinese J-10 warplanes had intercepted a US Navy P-3 Orion surveillance plane operating in what he said was international airspace.
The Chinese Ministry of Defense responded in a statement posted on its website on Sunday.
“On May 25, a US patrol plane carried out reconnaissance activities in the airspace southeast of Hong Kong, China,” it said. “The Chinese military aircraft carried out identification in accordance with law. The operations were professional and safe.”
The Defense Ministry also declared that the US account of the interception was inaccurate.
Noting that the US military should take steps to avoid similar activities, it stressed that China’s military was determined to protect the country’s sovereignty and security.
This is the second time in less than two weeks that the United States claims its planes were intercepted by Chinese fighter jets in unsafe manners.
On May 18, the US Air Force said two Chinese Sukhoi Su-30 jets had reportedly came within close proximity of an American four-engine WC-135 jet over the East China Sea, forcing it to descend hundreds of feet from its position.
Beijing later denied that allegation and said that its aircraft had acted “in accordance with the law.”
The US’s military presence in the region concerns China, which says such presence causes unnecessary tensions.
Chinese forces conducted two such interceptions last year, one in the South China Sea and one in the East China Sea.

Lu Kang, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman
A senior Chinese official says his country is “strongly dissatisfied” with the mention of ongoing disputes in regards to the South and East China Seas in the final communiqué of the recent G7 summit in Italy.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang made the remark in a statement published on Sunday after the G7 countries expressed concern over territorial disputes and rising maritime tensions in the East and South China Seas.
In their final statement, the seven wealthy nations, in a gathering on the Italian island of Sicily, expressed their opposition toward “any unilateral actions that could increase tensions,” and urged all parties to the conflict to start the demilitarization process.
Kang said, “We noticed this situation. We express strong protest in relation to the G7 summit’s communiqué, where the issue of South China and East China Seas was discussed under the pretext of the international law.”
Lu said that Beijing was committed to properly resolving disputes with all the nations involved through negotiations while maintaining peace and stability in the two seas.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman added that Beijing hoped the G7 countries and other nations would refrain from making “irresponsible” remarks and would fully respect the efforts of countries in the region to handle territorial disputes.
Chinese dredging vessels are seen in the waters around a reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. (Photo by Reuters)
China is involved in a dispute with Japan over a group of uninhabited islets in the East China Sea. China is also locked in maritime disputes in the South China Sea, where several countries, including Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines, have overlapping claims.
A Hague-based court of arbitration last year ruled in a case brought by the Philippines that China’s claims to sovereignty over the disputed areas in the South China Sea were invalid. Beijing rejected the ruling and stressed that it does not recognize the jurisdiction of the court.
Meanwhile, the United States is critical of China’s construction of islands and the build-up of military facilities in the South China Sea and has sent several of its warships there to protect what it calls its right to “freedom of navigation.” But Beijing accuses Washington of interfering in regional issues and deliberately stirring up tensions in a region it does not belong to.
Earlier this week, a US navy warship carried out a drill near a reef in the disputed Spratly Islands, the first such maneuver under President Donald Trump.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi exchange documents during a joint press conference following their meeting in Moscow on May 26, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Russia and China have once again voiced opposition to the deployment of a US missile system to South Korea, saying the North Korean nuclear program should not be used as a pretext for military build-up on the troubled peninsula.
During a meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow on Friday, the two sides agreed that the installation earlier this year of the so-called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in South Korea fuels tensions in the region.
“We noted that attempts to use Pyongyang’s actions as a pretext to boost military presence in the region, including the deployment of another part of the US' global anti-missile defense, are counterproductive,” Lavrov said.
“We are for adopting measures that, on the one hand, would hamper the further development of the North Korean nuclear missile programs, but at the same time would not lead to an increase in tensions in the region, would not block the possibility of a political and diplomatic settlement of the Korean Peninsula’s nuclear problem,” he added.
The Chinese foreign minister, for his part, noted that Beijing opposed the THAAD deployment in South Korea.
“We insist that the peninsula should be denuclearized while peace and stability should be ensured, as we stand against any statements that could raise tensions, and oppose the deployment of the THAAD system to South Korea under the pretext of the North Korean nuclear issue,” Wang said.
During the bilateral meeting, the Russian top diplomat stressed that Moscow and Beijing expected all parties to abide by United Nations Security Council resolutions concerning the Korean Peninsula.
This handout photo taken on November 1, 2015 shows testing a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor being launched from Wake Island in the Pacific Ocean. (By AFP)
“All resolutions of the UN Security Council should be implemented, they stipulate that Pyongyang must stop missile and nuclear tests and envisage certain enforcement measures to impel North Korea to meet these demands,” Lavrov said.
Meanwhile, the Chinese foreign minister also stressed the need for dialog on the North Korean nuclear issue, adding that use of military force would cause only negative consequences.
“Military actions can only escalate the crisis and bring serious consequences. No matter it was in the past, or in the future, it should not be an option for any country. China and Russia have reached consensus on this issue,” Wang said.
“We urge the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to stop acting against the UN Security Council resolutions and create necessary conditions for the resumption of dialogue and negotiations,” he noted.
North Korea regularly carries out missile tests and has also conducted five nuclear tests.
Pyongyang, under an array of sanctions for its missile and nuclear programs, says it is developing arms as deterrence against US hostility. North Korea has vowed that it would not abandon its missile and nuclear programs unless Washington ended its enmity toward Pyongyang.
Unsettled by North Korean missile and military nuclear programs, the United States has adopted a war-like posture against Pyongyang in recent weeks, sending a strike group to the Korean Peninsula and conducting joint military drills with North Korea’s regional adversaries Japan and South Korea.
The new US administration has warned that military intervention in North Korea is an option being considered.

A US Navy P-3 Orion spy plane (file photo)
Chinese fighter jets have intercepted an American “surveillance” aircraft near Hong Kong, US officials say, days after a US navy warship challenged China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.
The incident occurred on Wednesday, when two Chinese jets flew within 200 yards of a US P-3 Orion plane that was flying 150 miles southeast of Hong Kong.
American military officials said one of the jets moved to the front of the spy plane in an “unsafe and unprofessional” manner, restricting its ability to maneuver.
According to ABC News, the US was going to raise the issue with China through diplomatic channels.
The development was announced only a day after a US Navy warship sailed close to a disputed South China Sea island controlled by Beijing, the first such operation under new US President Donald Trump.
The last mission was carried out in October, after being authorized by Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama.
  Two Chinese fighter jets (file photo)

The USS Dewey guided missile destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, according to several US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity on Wednesday.
A Chinese frigate tailed the American warship during the operation, while two other Chinese vessels were in vicinity, according to US officials.
The move drew fire from China, with Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang saying that the US Navy warship’s “trespassing” was a breach of China’s "indisputable sovereignty."
“We urge the US to correct this mistake and stop taking further actions so as to avoid hurting peace and security in the region and long-term cooperation between the two countries,” Lu said Thursday.
China’s Defense Ministry also warned Washington that such actions would “only motivate the Chinese military to enhance its capacity.”
Washington claims the operations are aimed at preventing Beijing from limiting “freedom of navigation” in the disputed waters, which act as a gateway for over $5 trillion in annual maritime trade.
Trump attacked Beijing during last year’s presidential campaign for militarizing parts of the South China Sea, stealing American jobs with unfair trade policies and manipulating its currency in its favor.

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang
China’s Defense Ministry says a Chinese trade project commonly known as the Silk Road has no military or geostrategic goals, dismissing claims that Beijing seeks to expand its global footprint with the initiative.
The new Silk Road, formally known as the Belt and Road Initiative in China, is President Xi Jinping’s signature policy to expand links between Asia, Africa, and Europe. The 1-trillion-dollar initiative aims to give China better access to those areas via land and water routes.
Some countries have, however, voiced concern that Beijing is using the plan to promote China’s influence globally. Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India has accused Beijing of trying to “undermine the sovereignty of other nations” with the project.
Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said on Thursday that such accusations were “groundless.”
This picture, taken on January 1, 2017, shows Chinese workers loading boxes at a port in Lianyungang, in China’s eastern Jiangsu Province. (Photo by AFP)
Guoqiang said at a regular monthly news briefing that the new Silk Road was about cooperation and trade.
“The Belt and Road Initiative has no military or geostrategic intent. China is not seeking the right to guide global affairs, or spheres of influence, and will not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries,” he said.
China’s official Xinhua news agency has said the new Silk Road would be a boon for the developing countries that had been largely neglected by the West.
Chinese workers load goods for export at a port in Lianyungang, in China’s eastern Jiangsu Province. (File photo by AFP)
In a commentary earlier this month, the state-run Xinhua also took a jab at the United States, saying, “As some Western countries move backwards by erecting ‘walls,’ China is contriving to build bridges, both literal and metaphorical. These bridges are China’s important offering to the world, and a key route to improving global governance.”
Analysts say China may gain some geopolitical advantage from the Belt and Road Initiative but that would be a natural outgrowth of the economic benefits of the project.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang (Photo by Xinhua)
China has accused the US of trespassing after an American warship sailed near a reef in the South China Sea amid growing tensions between Beijing and Washington.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters at a regular press briefing in Beijing on Thursday that the US warship trespassed in its waters "without permission".
The guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey entered the area "without permission from the Chinese government", Lu said, adding that the ship had "trespassed in the waters near the relevant islands and reefs".
"The relevant action taken by the US vessel undermines China's sovereignty and security interests, and is very likely to cause unexpected sea and air accidents," the spokesman noted
The Chinese official also demanded Washington to stop "provocative actions".
A US official confirmed earlier that the USS Dewey sailed less than 12 nautical miles from Mischief Reef on Thursday morning local time. 
Territorial waters are generally defined by a United Nations convention as extending 12 nautical miles from a country’s coastline.
Speaking earlier in the day, Pentagon spokesman Major Jamie Davis said US forces will fly and sail "wherever international law" allows.
"We have a comprehensive Freedom of Navigation Operations program that seeks to challenge excessive maritime claims in order to preserve the rights, freedoms, and uses of the sea and airspace guaranteed to all nations under international law," Davis said in a statement
The exercises are "not about any one country, nor are they about making political statements," he added.
The so-called freedom of navigation operation, which is sure to anger China, is the first such challenge to Beijing in the strategic waterway since US President Donald Trump took office. 
This US Navy handout photo obtained March 15, 2017 shows the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, foreground,as it transits the East China Sea with the Japan's Murasame-class destroyer JS Samidare on March 9, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
China has repeatedly warned the United States against any military activities in the South China Sea.
Trump accused Beijing during the 2016 presidential campaign of militarizing parts of the South China Sea, stealing American jobs with unfair trade policies and manipulating its currency in its favor. 
The South China Sea is the subject of a territorial dispute between China and Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei. But those countries seem to have been managing their disputes with China smoothly. 
The latest developments also come a week after the United States said that two Chinese jets intercepted a US spy plane flying over the East China Sea.
The Chinese fighter jets outmaneuvered the US jet, forcing it to descend hundreds of feet from its position. China denied US allegations, saying that its aircraft were acting “in accordance with the law.”


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