China has responded to the Pentagon report “Military Power of the People’s Republic of China 2009” by rejecting its claim that China’s military modernization poses a threat to others. From Xinhua:
“We have lodged solemn representations to the U.S. side,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular press conference when asked to comment on this annual report.
The report continued disseminating the “Chinese military threat” theory, severely distorted the facts and interfered in China’s internal affairs, Qin said.
“China unswervingly sticks to a path of peaceful development and pursues a national defense policy which is purely defensive in nature,” he said, noting that China is devoted to safeguarding world peace and stability.
“We urged the U.S side to respect this basic fact,” he noted.
Reuters reports more on the ramifications of the report:
Beijing has already voiced its unhappiness with the U.S. Defense Department’s annual report on Chinese military capabilities, released this week.
But now Hu Changming, spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Defense, has said his government’s anger over the report could have real implications for plans to improve military contacts, which took a dive last year over U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.
“At present, there are still a great many obstacles to the development of ties between the two militaries that have not been overcome,” Hu said in a statement issued by the official Xinhua news agency late on Thursday.
“In these circumstances, the U.S. publication of the report on Chinese military power can only add new negative factors to the restoration and development of those military ties.”