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China and Russia Threaten Retaliation After U.S. Announces Plans to Deploy Missiles in Pacific Ocean

By Politicized News

· Global Affairs

During security meetings in Asia, U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said that he plans to deploy mid-range missile batteries in the Pacific within months. These installations would have been banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by Russia and the U.S. in 1987, which the U.S. withdrew from just days ago. Secretary Esper’s remarks drew criticism from his Chinese and Russian counterparts, who both warned that retaliatory measures would be taken, should the United States deploy missiles.

China’s Chief Arms Official Fu Cong said that China “will not stand idly by” as the United States builds up defenses, guaranteeing that China would take countermeasures. Russian officials also threatened to deploy their own mid-range missiles in the Asia-Pacific, should the United States continue with its plan. Russian President Putin called for all countries to come to arms control agreement, but reiterated his willingness to respond to American aggression. 

There has been concern expressed that the U.S.’s withdrawal from 1987’s treaty, along with Secretary Esper's new announcements, can spark another cold-war style arms race in Asia. Both Russia and China have stated their willingness to join disarmament talks, but it is unclear how the Trump Administration plans to respond.

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