Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang reiterated at a regular press conference yesterday that China adheres to the path of peaceful development and poses no threat to any country.
He made the remarks when asked to comment on claims by Seiji Maehara, leader of the Democratic Party of Japan, that China was a "real threat."
Qin said it was necessary to review history and look into the future in judging China's growth.
The Chinese people have a traditional respect for peace, and China is concentrating all its efforts on economic growth in the hope of improving the people's livelihood.
China adheres to the principle of building friendship and partnership with neighboring countries and the policy of fostering an amicable, peaceful and prosperous neighborhood, he said.
"China's development has neither posed a threat nor undermined anybody's interests," he said.
China is bound to be a force in safeguarding world peace given further economic progress in the future, he noted.
He stressed it's reasonable for a sovereign country like China to keep an appropriate level of military spending so as to cover the living expenses of those in the military service and to safeguard its territorial integrity, national sovereignty and security.
Qin quoted figures that indicated China's military expenses reached US$25.6 billion last year. Japan reportedly spends 1.62 times of this amount, while it has one-tenth of China's population and four percent of China's land area. The average military spending on each member of the Japanese military was US$200,000, 15 times that of Chinese army staff.
"What is Japan's purpose maintaining such huge military spending?" he asked.
He said it would be in the interest of the Japanese Democratic Party, Japan and Sino-Japanese relations if Seiji Maehara could do and say more that is good for promoting friendly relations between China and Japan.
Maehara, 43, made his first diplomatic mission to the United States on December 6, and touched down in Beijing on Sunday for a three-day visit.
As a guest of International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Maehara held talks with State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan and the Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo.
Turning to East Asian cooperation, Qin said China adheres to the principle of openness and transparency in the process of cooperation.
He said: "China holds that East Asian cooperation should be open and transparent, and it is in opposition to any exclusive regional cooperation targeting any third party."
He made the remarks when commenting on the nonparticipation of the US in the East Asian Summit.
"In this regard, China respects the consensus reached by ASEAN nations, and supports them in playing a leading role in this process," he noted.
As to WTO's Doha Round of free trade talks, he said that China hopes it will solve the problems concerning developing countries.
It is essential to give necessary special and discriminatory treatment to them and "to reserve space for their strategic development," he said.
The Doha round should make efforts to practically carry forwards the process of trade liberalization and essentially increase the opportunity of market access for WTO developing members and take into consideration their problems in the process of trade liberalization.
Turning to the Internet, Qin said that the Chinese government prohibits a misuse of the Internet. "Work units and individuals are not permitted to use the Internet to engage in illegal activities or commit crimes," he said.
Qin was responding to a recent report by a US research institute that said the Chinese military is probably behind an organized hacker attack on US government computers.
Internet crime is illegal, he said, adding that China currently has promulgated several laws on the protection of Internet security, and the relevant regulations are stipulated in the criminal law.
"What grounds does the US have for this accusation," he queried, asking the US side to present its evidence if it has any.
He also announced that at the invitation of Vice President Zeng Qinghong, Lupando Augustine Festus Mwape, vice president of the Republic of Zambia, will pay an official visit to China from December 15.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Antoinette Batumubwira, minister of external relations and cooperation of the Republic of Burundi, will pay an official visit to China from December 18 to 22.
(Xinhua News Agency, China Daily December 14, 2005)