China warns Japan of possible arms race

Sept. 8, 2003 at 9:07 AM
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BEIJING, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- China has warned Japan plans for a new missile defense system could lead to a new arms race, it was reported Monday.

The two nations are scheduled to meet Wednesday to resume military exchange talks but China's defense minister launched an early attack on Tokyo plans for a military buildup in response to the growing North Korean threat, the World Tribune reported.

The Japan Defense Agency plans to begin deploying a ballistic missile defense system in 2006 and is seeking $1.15 billion in its fiscal 2004 budget request to the Diet. The system, developed in collaboration with the United States, is designed mainly to counter a North Korean missile attack.

Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan warned "global strategic balance can be undermined" by the missile system and "can lead to a new arms race" though Japan's Defense Agency Director-General Shigeru Ishiba said the missile defense would not lead to military expansion.

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