South Korea's deployment of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (Thaad) anti-missile defence system is a "wrong choice" that will make the country less secure, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday (8 March).
He urged the country to halt the installation work, which gained momentum following North Korea's testing of four ballistic missiles on 5 March. He said the issue was negatively impacting relations between the two neighbours, Xinhua news agency reported.
Reiterating China's stand on Thaad deployment, Wang told a news conference in Beijing that the anti-missile battery undermines China's strategic security. "It's not the way neighbours should behave to each other, and it may very well make the ROK less secure," he said, referring to South Korea by its official name – the Republic of Korea.
Wang urged Seoul to cooperate with Beijing to maintain diplomatic relations, citing the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and South Korea.
The minister also called on China and the US to rise above differences in their social systems and work towards building a more robust and mature relationship.
Earlier in the news conference, the minister urged North Korea to halt its nuclear programme to enable the South and the US to shun their Thaad deployment.