Amid reports of China deploying long range intercontinental ballistic missiles near Russian border with the aim to be able to reach targets in the US, Beijing on Wednesday said it was just a speculation spread online.
When asked by a Russian journalist about the reports, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said, “What you mentioned is a speculation spread online. We attach great importance to the development of China-Russia relationship. Our relationship is developing at a high level with a deepening mutual trust. We would like to further exchange our cooperation in different fields,” she said, appreciating “very positive” remarks from the Russian side on missile deployment reports.
Russian official news agency TASS quoted China’s state-run Global Times as saying that DF-41 ballistic missiles have been deployed in northeastern Heilongjiang province near Russian border.
“China has deployed inter-continental ballistic missiles near Russia with the aim to be able to reach targets in the US, Canada and Europe,” the president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, doctor of military science Konstantin Sivkov told TASS.
“This is an inter-continental class missile with an effective range of 10,000 to 12000 km. The missile’s dead zone is no less than three thousand km. A large territory of Russia, practically the entire Far East and West Siberia are not within the missile’s reach,” Sivkov said.
Selecting this area for deploying the missiles targeted against Russian territory would be not expedient from the military point of view, he said.
“If that were the purpose, the missiles should have been stationed deep inside mainland China or on its southern border,” Sivkov explained.
In his opinion, missiles of that class stationed where they are will have the capability to reach targets in the United States, Canada and Europe.
“This is China’s response to threats pronounced by the new US president, Donald Trump. Also, Chinese missiles would be able to use a more advantageous northern strategic route for approaching targets in the United States, thus bypassing the US missile defence,” Sivkov said.
Strategically, Russia moved closer to China under the previous Obama administration following differences over Ukraine and Cyber attacks.
However, recent reports in state-run Chinese media spoke of Russia may warm up to US as Trump disassociated himself from Obama’s policy and looks to pursue more soft line towards Moscow which may in turn impact ties between Russia and China.
The movement of the missiles was highlighted by official Chinese media as Hua on Tuesday said China will not back down from its island building in the disputed South China Sea after Trump administration official made critical comments.