Beijing slams Pentagon report on 'China military threat'

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail CGTN, August 18, 2018
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A J-10 fighter jet of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force's August 1st aerobatics team is seen at an airport in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Aug. 16, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

Beijing has issued strong objections to a Pentagon report that alleged China is building its military might and poses a threat to the US.

China's military has expanded its bomber operations in recent years while "likely training for strikes" against the United States and its allies, a report released on Thursday said.

While China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) had continued to extend operations, it was not clear what message Beijing was seeking to send by carrying out the flights "beyond a demonstration of improved capabilities," the Pentagon report said.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Saturday issued a strong objection, accusing the US of distorting facts and interfering in China's military affairs.

"China strongly rejects the US criticism of Chinese national defense building and its efforts to defend national sovereignty and territory," Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters.

China always upholds a peaceful development path and contributes to world peace and stability and defends the international order, Lu said.

He urged the US to abandon its Cold War mentality and to make real efforts to build bilateral ties.

China's Defense Ministry also reacted quickly.

It issued a statement late Friday on its website, saying China strongly objects the report as it misinterpreted China's military strategy, exaggerated the rhetoric of the "China military threat" and provoked the cross-Strait relations. Beijing has brought up solemn representation to the US side, the statement said.

China always adheres to the path of peaceful development with a defensive national policy, and it always contributes to world peace and stability by actively participating in peacekeeping, overseas escort and disaster relief missions, it said.

"China is taking more responsibility and providing more public security goods to the world, and it is applauded by the international society for making such efforts," the statement added.

China's military modernization is to strengthen its ability to defend its sovereignty and territory and to defend world peace, stability and prosperity, it stressed.

It went on to say that Taiwan is part of China, and it is an "iron fact." It called on the US to stick to its longstanding one-China principle.

It also warned the US over navigation in the South China Sea.

China is actively engaged in direct negotiation and talks with its neighboring countries to resolve the South China Sea issue, and China has the right to construct peaceful and civilian facilities on these reefs, the Defense Ministry said.

The US' so-called "freedom of navigation" in the water is escalating the tension and poses a real threat to regional stability, it added.

The "Annual Report on Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China" is a US government report mandated by Congress, which details Chinese military developments over the previous year.

The ministry warned such report is provoking and will damage the China-US mutual trust, and urged the US to abandon its Cold War mentality and to make real efforts to build bilateral military ties.

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