China urges South Korea to properly handle THAAD issue
China has urged South Korea to properly handle the issue related to the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a regular press conference on Thursday.
"China and South Korea reached an agreement in October 2017 on the phased handling of the THAAD issue and pushing bilateral relations back on a normal development track," Zhao said, adding that it serves the common interests of both sides.
Zhao said that China firmly opposes the United States' move to deploy THAAD in South Korea, noting it damages China's security interests as well as obstructs the regional strategic balance.
During the press conference, Zhao urged South Korea to properly handle the THAAD issue in accordance with the consensus reached by China and South Korea so as to avoid impact on bilateral relations.
Zhao also expressed hope for a forward push toward greater development in China-South Korea relations.
The THAAD installation in South Korea was sternly opposed earlier by neighboring countries, including China and Russia, arguing it damages their security interests and boosts an arms race in the region.
On Thursday, local media reported that South Korean residents started a sit-in opposing the installation of THAAD in Seongju, the country's North Gyeongsang Province.