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Asia's Game of Thrones
China and Russia Prepare Joint Anti-Missile Drills

Beijing and Moscow are planning joint anti-missile drills, according to China Daily:

The Ministry of National Defense and the Russian Defense Ministry announced late on Tuesday that the drill will be held later this month at a Russian defense force research center.

Although both ministries said the drill “does not target any third party”, observers said the two countries are faced with imminent challenges posed by the US plan to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile-interceptor system in the Republic of Korea.

Beijing and Moscow have responded strongly against deploying the system. The X-band radar associated with THAAD can locate missiles 2,000 kilometers away, a range that includes parts of China and Russia and fully covers northeast China.

The United States and South Korea have been in advanced discussions about deploying the THAAD system to protect South Korea from North Korea. Seoul has been much keener on getting the missile defense system this year since Pyongyang has increased the frequency of its missile tests, conducted one confirmed nuclear test, and promised to keep up the belligerence. With Beijing either refusing or unable to control its dangerous ally, South Korea has turned decisively towards Washington for assistance.

Beijing and Moscow aren’t openly admitting that the drill is a response to THAAD, but if state-controlled China Daily says that’s what they’ve heard then it’s pretty much a sure bet.

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