20:44 GMT28 February 2021
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    China has expressed its criticism of the US Defense Department's annual report on Chinese military and security developments, as it disregards facts and contains groundless statements, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Wednesday.

    BEIJING (Sputnik) – On Tuesday, the US Defense Department said in a report to the nation's Congress that China would likely seek to build more military bases in countries with which Beijing has longstanding partnerships. The report also suggested that China's first domestically designed and built aircraft carrier would likely reach initial operational capability by 2020.

    In addition, the Defense Department noted that Beijing continued to use "low-intensity coercion" in disputes related to the East and South China Seas.

    "The Chinese side has drawn attention to report on the Chinese armed forces, published by the US side. This report does not consider the facts, it contains irresponsible expressions with regard to the Chinese military building, the protection of the state’s sovereignty and security interests. The Chinese side expresses decisive protest in this regard," Hua said at a briefing.

    China and the United States strongly disagree with one another on the subject of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system’s deployment in South Korea. Beijing believes that the US move breaches the regional balance of power and undermines Chinese security interests. On the other hand, Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, the commander of the United States Forces Korea (USFK), said that the THAAD system would only be used to counter the North Korean threat.


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