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China slams Pentagon report on its military modernisation

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BEIJING (PTI): China Friday dismissed as "completely groundless" a Pentagon report which said Beijing's massive military modernisation drive could destabilise the Asia-Pacific region.

The Pentagon's annual assessment of Chinese military capabilities and doctrine "seriously twists the facts and doesn't have a leg to stand on," Chinese Defence Ministry said in a statement.

"China has lodged solemn representations with the US side," Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said.

The Pentagon report titled 'Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China' does not hold water as it severely distorted the facts, Yang said.

However, the excerpts of the statement carried by the state-run Xinhua news agency did not make any specific reference in the Pentagon report about deployment of more advanced and survivable solid-fuel nuclear capable CSS-5 MRBM missiles by China at the Indian border.

The report said Chinese People's Liberation of Army (PLA) has replaced liquid-fuelled, nuclear-capable CSS-2 IRBMs with more advanced and survivable solid-fuelled CSS-5 MRBM systems to strengthen its deterrent posture relative to India.

Yang said the report turned a blind eye to facts and played up the so-called Chinese mainland's "military threat" to Taiwan, and made groundless claims on China's policies on space and network security.

"China unswervingly adheres to the path of peaceful development, and its national defence policy is defensive in nature," Yang said.

Yang said China's defence building "is solely to safeguard its own sovereignty and territorial integrity, and ensure smooth economic and social development, and does not target any country."

"Given the progress of science and technology, it's normal for the Chinese army to develop and renew some weapons and equipment," Yang said.

He said the Chinese army had increased its opening-up to the outside world, while actively conducting exchanges and cooperation with foreign armies, and always endeavoured to protect global and regional stability.

By releasing the report US did not conform with the consensus by the two state leaders on building a cooperative partnership of mutual respect and mutual benefit, the positive development momentum of bilateral military ties, and the sound development momentum of the cross-Strait relations between Chinese mainland and Taiwan, Yang said.

"China demands that the US side view China's military development in an objective and fair manner," Yang said.

The report has already been strongly repudiated by various state media organs here as "cock and bull story".

The Pentagon report, despite striking some positive notes, once again trumped up the notion of "China Threat", a commentary in Xinhua said.

The report, positively, recognised China has made "modest, but incremental, improvements in the transparency of its military and security affairs," but, as expected, it exaggerated the threat incurred by China's military development in 2010 to the Asia-Pacific region, it said.

For many in China, it is weird that the Pentagon, whose expenditures reached nearly USD 700 billion and accounted for over an appalling 40 per cent of the world's total in 2010, routinely points its finger at China, whose military only spends a small fraction (USD 91.5 billion this year) of what the Pentagon consumes every year.

"A high-ranking US military officer, prematurely, and maybe ridiculously, asserted an expanded Chinese naval presence would have "implications for regional rivalries and power dynamics."

"The allegation is an utterly cock-and-bull story about the Chinese military based on a wild guess and illogical reasoning," it said.

The state-run China Daily in its editorial said "China is not a threat to peace in Asia, as it will never seek hegemony or military expansion. It has solemnly reiterated on every occasion that it unswervingly adheres to a defence policy that is defensive in nature.

"The Pentagon is under great pressure to cut its budget over the next decade after US defence spending rose continually over the last 13 years. Clearly it is in the interests of the Pentagon to claim that China's military capabilities are a threat when it bargains with Congress for another big, fat check," it said.

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China  US  Military  
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