China: Pentagon report on Chinese military has ‘severely damaged’ mutual trust
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China: Pentagon report on Chinese military has ‘severely damaged’ mutual trust

CHINA has slammed the U.S. Defense Department’s annual report on developments in the Chinese military, saying the report’s “deliberate distortion” is a serious breach of trust.

The Pentagon’s report, released on Friday, said China has increased its defense capabilities, and is expected to add substantial military infrastructure to man-made islands in the South China Sea.

According to Reuters, China’s Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun expressed “strong dissatisfaction” and “firm opposition” to the report.

Yang was quoted saying the report has “severely damaged mutual trust” between the two nations, and it apparently “hyped up” the military threat posed by China.

The report was also condemned for making much of China’s lack of transparency, “deliberately distorted” Chinese defense policies, and portrayed Chinese activities in the East and South China seas “unfairly”, reports state news agency Xinhua.

Yang strongly contended the report, saying the country’s military build-up and reforms are necessary to maintain sovereignty, security and territorial integrity.

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Heavily armed Chinese paramilitary police men march towards Tiananmen Gate in Beijing. Pic: AP

He said: “China follows a national defense policy that is defensive in nature.” Yang added that it is the U.S. that has always behaved suspiciously and often sends military vehicles to the region in a show of military muscle.

The same report also said that China has thus far reclaimed over 3,200 acres of much-disputed land in the South China Sea and accused the country of deploying “coercive tactics” to gain control of the region.

Three of the land features in the Spratly Islands now have nearly 10,000-foot runways and large ports in various stages of construction, says the Pentagon.

In addition to the construction, newly excavated channels, and dredged harbors have cropped up, as well as communications, logistics and intelligence-gathering facilities.

Yang defended the reclamation work, saying it serves mostly civilian purposes and helps China to fulfill international responsibilities in providing more “public goods”.