Beijing Warns US After Missile Launcher Reaches ‘China’s Doorstep’

April 19, 2024

China expressed “grave concern” on Thursday at the deployment of a U.S. missile system to the edge of the South China Sea, potentially putting Chinese territory within striking range.

The U.S. Army this month hailed the “historic first” arrival of a medium or mid-range capability launcher in the northern Philippines as part of an ongoing military exercise.

The “Typhon” transporter erector launcher can fire the Standard Missile 6 or Tomahawk Land Attack Missile. The latter is a long-range cruise missile with an operational range of over 1,000 miles, capable of reaching China-controlled territories in the South China Sea as well as military bases along its southern coast.

China strongly opposes the U.S. deploying medium-range ballistic missiles in the Asia-Pacific and strengthening forward deployment at China’s doorstep to seek unilateral military advantage,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian said at a regular press briefing in Beijing.

“The U.S.’s move exacerbates tensions in the region and increases the risk of misjudgment and miscalculation. We urge the U.S. to earnestly respect other countries’ security concerns, stop stoking military confrontation, stop undermining peace and stability in the region, and take concrete actions to reduce strategic risks,” Lin said.

The Typhon battery, from the Army’s 1st Multi-Domain Task Force out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, was delivered to northern Luzon—the Philippines island south of Beijing-claimed Taiwan—to be demonstrated at Salaknib, the annual two-week bilateral drills that began on April 8. The Typhon is not expected to be permanently stationed in the Philippines.

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Bugs Marlowe

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