U.S. report on Chinese military misrepresented: Defense Ministry

Beijing : The Chinese Defense Ministry has expressed strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to a Pentagon report on Beijing’s military, saying it has misrepresented the country’s military development.

Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun asserted that the U.S. Defense Department hyped up China’s military threat and the so-called lack of transparency deliberately distorted China’s defense policies and unfairly depicted the country’s activities in the East China Sea and South China Sea.

“China follows a national defense policy that is defensive in nature. Moves such as deepening military reforms and the military buildup are aimed at maintaining sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, and guaranteeing China’s peaceful development,” Xinhua quoted Yang as saying.

Asserting that the U.S. side has always been suspicious, Yang stressed that China’s construction on the Nansha Islands serves mostly civilian purposes. He said it helps fulfill its international responsibilities and obligations by providing more public goods.

The Defense Ministry spokesman instead said that it was Washington that has been flexing military muscles by frequently sending military aircraft and warships to the region.

He added that despite its call for the freedom of navigation and restraint for peace, the U.S. pushed forward the militarization in the South China Sea with an intention to exert hegemony.

Yang said the U.S. annual report on China’s military and security developments has severely damaged mutual trust between the two sides.

He urged the U.S. to take tangible actions to promote the healthy and stable development of relations between both nations and their armed forces

The U.S. Defense Department’s annual report to Congress on the Chinese military said that Beijing is expected to add substantial military infrastructure, including communications and surveillance systems, to artificial islands in the South China Sea this year. (ANI)