Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi takes questions on China's foreign policy and foreign relations at a press conference for the fifth session of the 12th National People's Congress in Beijing, capital of China, March 8, 2017. Photo: Xinhua
The introduction of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system is an obvious mistake, which will not only hurt the interest of neighboring countries, but also threaten the security of South Korea itself, said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday in Beijing.
“The biggest problem in China-South Korea relations now is the controversial deployment plan of the THAAD system by the United States and South Korea. China has been firmly opposed to that from the very beginning,” Wang said at a press conference during China’s annual sessions of the National People's Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
Wang’s remarks came amid heightened tensions between China and South Korea after Lotte and South Korea's military signed a land swap deal this week to enable authorities to deploy THAAD, which the Chinese government regarded as a threat to its national security and has repeatedly said to take necessary measures against it.
“We advise some forces in South Korea not to act arbitrarrilly, otherwise the result may harm both South Korea itself and other countries. China urges South Korea to stop the deployment of THAAD, and not to walk on a wrong path farther and farther,” Wang said.
In response to what would be the plan for 25th anniversary of the establishment of China-South Korea diplomatic relations in 2017, Wang said China welcomes South Korean young people to come to China and learn Chinese as it welcomes young people from other neighboring countries.
“China values the joint efforts that China and South Korea have made in the past 25 years. But of course, we also hope South Korea can work together with China to maintain the overall situation of mutual benefit and cooperation,” he noted.