US missile defense in Europe directly threatens Russia – Chinese military

FILE PHOTO. © Peter Andrews
US antimissile shield in Europe directly threats Russia, a senior-ranking Chinese general said at an international security in Beijing. He added that US actions across the globe disrupt the balance of regional power and provoke regional instability.

“The US did not provide legally-binding guarantees that the missile defense system they are deploying in Europe would not be aimed against Russia. But at the same time it poses a real and direct threat to the Russian security,” Maj. Gen. Cai Jun, the vice head of the Central Military Commission Joint Staff Department's warfare bureau, said in a speech at the Xiangshan Forum.

The assessment is similar to that of the Russian military, which insists that the American antimissile shield in Europe compromises Russia’s security and needs to be countered with better ballistic missiles and capabilities to destroy antimissile sites, should the need arise.

“China and Russia have similar positions about strategic antiballistic missile systems and oppose attempts by any nation or group of nations to create such systems unilaterally at the expense of strategic international security,” the general said.

Speaking alongside the Chinese official, Russian Lt. Gen. Viktor Poznikhir said that US duplicity over the antimissile shield is highlighted by the fact that the project continues despite a nuclear deal with Iran, which Washington claimed to be the main target for the European system.

The Russian official added that in addition to undermining Russian and Chinese nuclear deterrence, the US system poses a potential threat to any nation pursuing space exploration.

The system’s “anti-satellite capability is one of the reasons why the US rejects any treaties on banning weapons in space,” Poznikhir said. “The actions of the US do not give credibility to their statements that Russian and Chinese missiles and satellites are not considered targets for their antimissile systems.” 

Gen. Poznikhir said Russia and China are forced to respond to these threats and preserve the strategic balance of power.

The 7th Xiangshan Forum is co-hosted by the Chinese Association for Military Science and the China Institute for International Strategic Studies and runs from Monday to Wednesday. Some 350 foreign officials and experts from 64 countries are visiting the event, according to organizers.