THAAD Defence System
China has issued a statement reiterating its long-standing objections to the presence of the US THAAD missile defence system in South Korea.
• THAAD is an acronym for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, a transportable, ground-based missile defense system.
• This anti-ballistic missile defense system has been designed and manufactured by the US company Lockheed Martin.
• South Korea is not the only country with the THAAD missile defense system. It has been previously deployed in the UAE, Guam, Israel and Romania.
China’s opposition has little to do with the missiles itself and is more about the system’s inbuilt advanced radar systems that could track China’s actions.
The controversy also has much to do with the geo-politics and complex conflicts in East Asia, with the US having a presence in the region particularly through its many military bases in Japan and South Korea.
China believes the US exerts influence over South Korea and Japan and may interfere with Beijing’s long-term military, diplomatic and economic interests in the region.