Arms Control Official on Theater Missile Defensive (TMD)

An official with the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a recent interview with Xinhua that "China does not reject the whole concept of TMD".

China understands the role of TMD in protecting stationed troops and what China opposes is the advanced TMD system which could be employed during National Missile Defensive, Sha Zukang, director of the Arms Control Department of the Foreign Ministry, said, adding that "this will undermine the strategic balance."

Sha pointed out that it is not necessary for Japan to join the TMD of the United States. Even when faced with the bigger threat during the cold war period than at present, Japan did not think of TMD, and it is more unnecessary for Japan to do so now for the international relations are relaxed, relations between big nations are improved and the Japan-Russian relations have improved remarkably, and peace and development have become the trend of the time, Sha said.

"The so-called threat from Democratic People's Republic of Korea to Japan is just a pretext," Sha added.

Responding to the question of whether Japan's participation in TMD of the United States might trigger the arms race between China and Japan, Sha said that China, as all other sovereign states, will take "necessary measures" to safeguard its national security and territorial integrity.

However, Sha pointed out that "China did not, does not and will not participate in any form of arms race, and even if Japan is willing to, China will not do so."