Despite claims to the contrary Australia's plans to join a
ballistic missile defense system will certainly affect China's
security and may be targeted at the nation, warn analysts.
Australia said on Tuesday that it is considering taking part in
the US and Japan's missile defense system, to counter new threats
including Pyongyang's missile arsenal. The announcement followed
diplomats' carefully stressing that the system was not designed to
check Chinese influence.
But Zhang Qinsheng, deputy chief of the general staff of the
People's Liberation Army, had already made China's opposition to
the missile defense system clear at the Asia Security Summit in
Singapore last week, pointing out that with the system covering
Taiwan it would bring instability to Asia.
Jin Linbo, a scholar with the China Institute of International
Studies, said the system would definitely affect China.
"We cannot regard it as a defensive system just because that's
what it is called," Jin told China Daily. "Since ancient
times both spears and shields have been regarded as weapons in
Chinese culture - because shields can make spears useless.
"In this regard, worries about the missile defense system are
the same as concerns about other weapons."
Researcher Pan Zheng, of the PLA University of National Defense,
questioned Australia's motives for cooperating in the missile
"The six-party talks (on Pyongyang's nuclear program) have made
great progress and are still working towards a brighter future.
Meanwhile the US and North Korea have established channels for
direct high-level dialogue," said Pan, "I cannot see the necessity
for military expansion targeting North Korea at this time.
"In my opinion, it is more focused on curbing China."
(China Daily June 8, 2007)