December 07, 2023

Why Beijing opposes THAAD deployment in South Korea

China's opposition to the missile defense system is a cynical ploy for the domination of East Asia

China’s opposition to the deployment of a THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) system on the Korean peninsula is well documented. Beijing’s opposition increased over the last year after Seoul and Washington began discussions over THAAD in early 2016, and China’s rhetoric intensified after the two decided, in July 2016, to deploy the missile defense system.

North Korea’s fifth nuclear test in September 2016, numerous ballistic missile tests, and the use of VX nerve agent to murder Kim Jong Nam in Malaysia subsequently raised South Korean anxiety and seemed to accelerate the push for THAAD deployment.