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No need for concern about new weapons, says China

China's Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Hu Zhengyue. A file photo

BEIJING (PTI): As it prepared to unveil a new range of weapon systems, China said its neighbours, including India, should not have "any concerns" as the arms were meant for defence of the vast country.

China's Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Hu Zhengyue said here on Monday that China and India have increased "political mutual trust" and the issues "left over by history" should be resolved through friendly and cooperative discussions between the two sides.

"We have a population of 1.3 billion and 9.6 millon square km of land, it is understandable that we maintain a certain amount of weapons for our defence. We have a very open and transparent national defence policy," he told a group of visiting foreign journalists.

China will showcase up to 52 types of new weapon systems at the October 1 military parade on the ocassion of the 60th Founding Day.

The new equipment unveiled would include nuclear, conventional and cruise missiles, as well as fighter jets, radar systems and surface-to-air missiles, officials here said.

"I don't think our neighbours should have any concerns. We all know that China needs a peaceful and friendly external environment to move forward," Hu said.

"Yes we will showcase some of our weapons during the parade... China's weapons are not the most advanced, so far we don't even have an aircraft carrier yet," he said in response to a question by PTI.

Hu said India and China have been "increasing mutual political trust" and are also increasing cooperation and exchanges in the field of defence.

"It would be hard to imagine 10 years ago that today China and India will carry out a joint military exercise in rescue," he said.

Hu said China adheres to maintaining good and friendly relations with its neighbouring countries and there have been no "major worries" from any surrounding countries against its national defence.

"I think the most important thing in viewing our weapons is to understand our policy," he said.

Hu said China had resolved all its border issues with all neighbouring countries except India but has always maintained that "issues left over by history" should be resolved through "friendly and cooperative discussions" and "peaceful consultations".

"Some issues have been left over from history and cannot be resolved overnight, but they will not affect our cooperation. I believe that we should digest and resolve such issues by expanding cooperation and history has shown us that this can be done," he said.

He said peace and developing economy was currently the priority for every Asian nation and on some issues "the first thing to do is to conduct cooperation and we should put aside the disputes".

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