Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Remarks

Q: US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said that China's behaviors have disrupted stability in the Indo-Pacific. He hoped to deploy intermediate-range missiles in Asia in a few months. What is China's response? China owns missiles with an effective range that covers Japan or Guam. Why does it oppose the idea that the US can have intermediate-range missiles in Asia?

A: First, the so-called allegation that "China disrupted stability in the Indo-Pacific" is just shifting blames in an irresponsible manner. For a long time the US has been grossly interfering in the affairs of regional countries in the Asia Pacific. Politically, it has tried to drive a wedge between them by promoting so-called "Indo-Pacific strategy". It has adopted a selfish beggar-thy-neighbor approach in economic affairs while making military deployment and strengthening military allies in the region. It's crystal clear who is undermining regional stability in Asia-Pacific.

For some time the US has been using China as an excuse on the INF Treaty and other issues, hyping up so-called "China's missile threat" in total disregard of the facts. This is just what the US always does to shift blames to other countries. Despite strong international opposition, the US chose to withdraw from the INF Treaty. Now it is hastily seeking to deploy intermediate-range missiles in Asia. This in fact reveals the real intention of the US withdrawal from the treaty.

Secondly, the logic of your second question is absurd. China pursues a defense policy that is defensive in nature. We develop military power out of self-defense purpose. We do not intend to and will not pose a threat to any country.

The range of intermediate-range missiles is limited, so their location is important. China is a large country with a big population. We need necessary defense capacity to defend against invasion and safeguard sovereignty and territorial integrity. All of China's land-based short- and intermediate-range missiles are deployed within our territory, which testifies to the defensive nature of our defense policy. However, if the US deploys intermediate-range missiles in Asia-Pacific, especially around China, its aim will apparently be offensive. If the US insists on doing so, the international and regional security will inevitably be severely undermined. China will not just sit idly by and watch our interests being compromised. What's more, we will not allow any country to stir up troubles at our doorstep. We will take all necessary measures to safeguard national security interests. We hope the US will exercise prudence and refrain from escalating tensions or undermining international and regional peace.

(Source: Foreign Ministry Spokesperson 's Remarks on August 5, 2019)

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