The drills in Bohai come as Chinese officials earlier warned that they would test new weapons in the area, apparently seeking to remind the USA and South Korea that the deployment of THAAD would not go unnoticed.
China’s defense ministry revealed Wednesday that it test-fired a new guided missile recently. In order to de-escalate tensions surrounding the Korean peninsula, Beijing has come up with an initiative to call on North Korea to refrain from carrying out further missile and nuclear tests in exchange for the US and South Korea suspending their military exercises in the region.
China has pressured South Korea both economically and politically to abandon THAAD, which Beijing argues poses a threat to China’s national security.
A North Korean citizen identified as Kim Chol warned, “China had better ponder over the grave consequences to be entailed by its reckless act of chopping down the pillar of DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea]-China relations”, in a commentary published by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). Moon Jae-in, a former human rights lawyer who is a proponent of peaceful talks with the North’s regime, was declared the victor of the election Tuesday.
There is a strict Chinese boycott of South Korea that has been in effect since the THAAD defenses were installed. Protestors had actively tried to impede vehicles headed to the site of the THAAD, or terminal high altitude area defense.
The US said the THAAD deployment was aimed at countering any missile attack by North Korea against the South, Japan and the US.
At the same time, tensions between Pyongyang and Beijing have also risen in recent weeks as China works with the U.S.to rein in North Korea.
“The two sides are like two accelerating trains coming towards each other with neither side willing to give way”. Wang said, according to The Guardian.