China echoes Russian missile concerns Tuesday Jun 5 19:46 AEST AP - China has echoed concerns raised by Russia over a US plan for a missile defence shield in Europe, saying such a system could trigger an arms race. The White House plans to place a radar system in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland - two Eastern European countries that were in the Soviet orbit during the Cold War era. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said the plan had "aroused great concern and attention." "China believes that the impact of a missile defence system on strategic defence and stability is not conducive to mutual trust of major nations and regional security," she said. "It may also give rise to a proliferation problem." Over the weekend, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Moscow could take "retaliatory steps" including aiming nuclear weapons at US military bases in Europe if the shield was realised. Moscow believes the shield in Eastern Europe is meant for Russia, and says it has no choice but to boost its own military potential in response. The US says the network is meant to protect NATO allies against a missile launch from Iran. Once Cold War rivals for the allegiances of the socialist world, China and Russia improved relations dramatically in the 1990s and forged what they call a "strategic partnership."