13:49 GMT20 June 2021
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    Defense Ministry Spokesman Yang Yujun on Saturday expressed “strong dissatisfaction” and “firm opposition” to a Pentagon report that according to him misrepresented China's military development.

    In an annual report on China's military activities, the US Defense Department exaggerated “China's military threat” and the so-called lack of transparency, consciously misleading China's defense policies and unfairly depicted China's activities in the East China Sea and South China Sea, Yang said.

    “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,” Yang said.

    The report mentioned the recent military reforms that China undertook and stressed that China’s defense budget is world’s second largest. It spoke about China’s Air Force and how it is the largest air force in Asia and the third largest in the world, with more than 2, 800 total aircraft.

    The report brought up the South China Sea and the vast construction that China has undertaken on the Spratly/Nansha Islands.

    “China excavated deep channels to improve access to its outposts, created artificial harbors, dredged natural harbors, and constructed new berthing areas to allow access for larger ships,” the report notes.

    In response to this report China’s Defense Ministry Spokesman, Yang Yujun, stressed that China's construction on the islands serves mostly civilian purposes, and helps fulfil its international responsibilities and obligations by providing more public goods.

    He further said that it is the United States that has been flexing military muscles by regularly sending military aircraft and warships to the region,  whereas, China has unwaveringly made contributions to global peace and stability by increasingly engaging in overseas missions such as peace-keeping and disaster relief.

    “Despite its call for the freedom of navigation and restraint for peace, the United States pushed forward the militarization in the South China Sea with an intention to exert hegemony,” Xinhua news agency reported the spokesperson as saying.

    The spokesman noted that the US annual report on China's military and security developments has greatly damaged mutual trust between the two sides, urging the US side to take concrete actions to promote stable development of relations between the two countries and their armed forces.


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    disputed islands, military activity, hegemony, report, Yang Yujun, China
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