China on Friday expressed strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to concerning content in Japan’s 2022 defense white paper, urging the country to stop arbitrarily hyping up security threats in the neighborhood to justify its military build-up.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a daily press briefing that the white paper contains groundless accusations against China’s defense policy, normal defense development and legitimate maritime activities, deliberately plays up the so-called “China threat,” and grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs on the Taiwan question.
“China strongly deplores and firmly rejects this,” said the spokesperson. Wang pointed out that China is committed to the path of peaceful development, and follows a defense policy that is defensive in nature.
“China’s defense building is aimed at upholding our sovereignty, security and development interests. It is legitimate, reasonable and beyond reproach,” he said, adding that military cooperation including joint naval patrol between China and relevant countries is consistent with international law and established international practice, and it does not target any particular country.
He further noted that due to the recent history of overseas aggression waged by Japanese militarism, Japan’s moves in the military and security fields have always been closely followed by its Asian neighbors including China and the international community.
“In this latest white paper, Japan has openly added content about revising relevant defense documents by the end of this year, further increasing its defense budget, and developing so-called counter-strike capabilities,” said the spokesperson. “All these give rise to the concern that Japan is deviating further from the path of pacifist and exclusively defense-oriented strategy.”
“We urge the Japanese side to immediately stop the erroneous practice of arbitrarily hyping up security threats in the neighborhood to justify its military build-up, heed the voice of the international community, deeply reflect on the history of aggression, stay committed to the path of peaceful development, and earn the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community with concrete actions,” Wang said.