BEIJING – The Chinese Foreign Ministry criticized Japan on Tuesday for exaggerating the “China threat” in its newly released defense white paper, and dismissed Tokyo’s concerns as “groundless” and “irresponsible.”
Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said the annual white paper compiled by the Defense Agency and endorsed by the Cabinet on Tuesday harms the two countries’ efforts to establish mutual trust on security, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
“It would mislead the public, result in suspicion of each other and opposition to each other in emotions, and harm Sino-Japanese relations,” he was quoted as saying.
Kong noted the report says Japan should be alert to China’s military modernization and be attentive to the movement of China’s naval vessels.
Japan, he said, should take into account the long-term development of Sino-Japanese relations and act in ways that increase mutual trust and friendly feelings, not the opposite.
The “Defense of Japan 2005” document explains Japan’s plan to introduce a missile defense shield by March 2007 and Japan’s response to “new threats” such as terrorism and ballistic missiles, in line with a new defense guideline revised last December.
As in past years, the report notes the continued increases in China’s defense spending and the modernization of its military, especially in the field of nuclear weapons and missiles.
It mentions China’s rapid economic development and growing diplomatic importance, noting Beijing’s contribution as host of the six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear threat, revealing Japan’s concerns over China’s rising status in the military, diplomatic and economic fields.
Citing a Chinese nuclear submarine’s intrusion into Japanese waters last November, the report says Japan is keeping a close watch on the moves of Chinese naval vessels.
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