Carlos Barria | Reuters
President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping chat as they walk along the front patio of the Mar-a-Lago estate after a bilateral meeting in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., April 7, 2017.
In yet another move resisting President Donald Trump’s repeated demands to rein in North Korea, China not only refused to immediately condemn the rogue nation for its missile launch over Japan on Tuesday, but again called for the removal of the only viable projectile defense in the region.
Although Trump has blamed China for not taking a harsh stance toward the consistently belligerent North Korea, the Asian giant may have already lost its ability to influence the rogue state.
So instead of making Kim Jong Un’s regime back down, Beijing is actually pushing for Seoul to remove its best defense.
That is, the U.S.-supplied Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea is the only asset in the region that could bring down a missile coming out of North Korea, but China seems determined to see it removed. The defense shield, which was paid for and supplied by the United States, is designed to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles in mid-air.
A day after the missile traveled over Japan, China called for an immediate halt to THAAD deployment and for the removal of related facilities in comments from its United Nations ambassador. In the statement, China blamed THAAD deployment for jeopardizing geopolitical balance and “undermining the strategic security interest of all regional countries, including China.”