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China 'won't stand idly by' if US puts missiles in Asia-Pacific region

China 'won't stand idly by' if US puts missiles in Asia-Pacific region
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China said Tuesday that it "will not stand idly by" if the U.S. follows through with an announced plan to place intermediate-range missiles in the Asia-Pacific region, The Associated Press reports. 

The news service reports that the director of the foreign ministry's arms control department, Fu Cong, said China is concerned about the plans to develop and test a land-based intermediate missile range in the region "sooner rather than later."

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Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperCORRECTED: Overnight Defense: COVID-19 stymies effort to study sexual assault at military academies | Biden, Saudi king speak ahead of Khashoggi report Female generals' promotions held back over fears of Trump's response: report Overnight Defense: Army details new hair and grooming standards | DC National Guard chief says Pentagon restricted his authority before riot | Colorado calls on Biden not to move Space Command MORE announced the plan last week, one day after the U.S. pulled out of a Cold War-era arms control pact. Esper said he didn't have the latest "state of play on timelines," but would "prefer months." 

Esper said it would be "important" to have missiles in the Asia-Pacific region, but did not speculate on where they might be placed. 

"China will not stand idly by and be forced to take countermeasures should the U.S. deploy intermediate-range ground-based missiles this part of the world," Fu told reporters at a briefing Tuesday, according to the AP. 

Fu reportedly advised other nations, including South Korea, Japan and Australia, to not allow the U.S. to deploy such weapons in their territory.