China said on Friday that it hopes NATO and Russia will continue their consultations on a missile defense system in order to maintain global strategic stability.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks at a daily news briefing in response to a question regarding China's attitude toward differences between NATO and Russia on the U.S.-led European missile defense shield.
A ministerial meeting of the NATO-Russia Council was held on Thursday by NATO's 28 foreign ministers with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
At the meeting, NATO and Russia failed to narrow their differences over the system, but talks will continue in a bid to reach a deal before NATO's next summit in Chicago in May 2012.
"Anti-missile issues concern global strategic stability and mutual trust between big powers in the strategic security field," said Hong.
China has noticed that Russia recently expressed strong concerns over the U.S.-led European missile defense system as well as its willingness to continue dialogues with the U.S. and NATO, said Hong.
"We hope the parties concerned will continue their negotiation on the anti-missile issue, fully respect and accommodate each other's security concerns, and handle the issue in a mutually beneficial and win-win manner, so as to safeguard global strategic stability," he said.
Tensions have risen between NATO and Russia around missile defense.
Last month, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned that Russia would deploy missiles against NATO's anti-missile shield if the two fail to reach an agreement.
Moscow has long opposed the deployment of U.S.-led NATO missile defense facilities near its borders and intends to seek legally-binding guarantees from the U.S. and NATO that the missile defense shield is not targeting Russia.