BEIJING, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- China's military on Thursday voiced strong objections to the Republic of Korea (ROK)'s deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).
The move by the United States and the ROK will gravely undermine the regional strategic balance and the strategic security interests of countries in the region, including China and Russia, said Ren Guoqiang, spokesperson of the Ministry of National Defense at a routine press conference.
Ren said China hopes the ROK side will value the achievements in the military ties between the PLA and the ROK army, and cautiously handle issues that directly concern China's strategic security interests.
Chinese armed forces will make the necessary preparations and resolutely safeguard the nation's security.
The Nanhai fleet on Feb. 10 departed from a military port in south China's Sanya City for a high-seas training mission.
In addition to the South China Sea, the mission will pass through the east Indian Ocean for training to improve Chinese navy's ability in international escorting, anti-terror and anti-piracy, said Ren.
The spokesperson also answered questions about the U.S. aircraft carrier strike group patrolling the South China Sea. The group, including Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, began routine operations in the South China Sea on Feb. 19.
China hopes the United States would do what is good for peace and stability in the South China Sea, said Ren.
China always respects freedom of navigation and overflight of all countries in the South China Sea in accordance with international law, and hopes the United States will respect the sovereignty and security of concerned countries.
Ren said China wished enhanced communications between the two armies and to push forward bilateral ties.