China lodges diplomatic protest with Japan over defence paper

China on Wednesday lodged a diplomatic protest with Japan accusing it of "deceiving" international community and stiring up trouble with its neighbours, a day after a Japanese defence white paper attacked Beijing for muscle-flexing in the disputed East and South China seas.

PTI| Updated: Aug 03, 2016, 16:58 PM IST

Beijing: China on Wednesday lodged a diplomatic protest with Japan accusing it of "deceiving" international community and stiring up trouble with its neighbours, a day after a Japanese defence white paper attacked Beijing for muscle-flexing in the disputed East and South China seas.

"China is strongly dissatisfied with Japan's 2016 defence white paper over its groundless accusations against China's defence development and military activities," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a statement.

China made solemn representations (diplomatic protests) to Japan over the irresponsible white paper, she said .

In its statement, the Chinese Defence Ministry expressed strong opposition to the Japanese white paper calling the annual document hostile to the Chinese military and deceptive to the international community.

"The white paper issued on August 2, full of hackneyed expressions, distorts China's justified and reasonable defence work, heightening issues in the South China Sea and the East China Sea," Defence Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian said in a statement.

"Filled with hostility to the Chinese military, it stirs up trouble between China and its neighbours, and attempts to deceive the international community, " Wu said.

The Defence paper released in Tokyo yesterday expressed Japan's heightened concern over China's muscle-flexing in the East and South China seas.

This year's white paper adopted a more critical tone against Beijing's maritime activities and militarisation of the disputed waters compared with the previous report, Japanese news agency, Kyodo reported.

Japan has no right to make carping comments on China's legitimate activities near Diaoyu Islands, Hua said, stressing that China's determination to safeguard territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests is "unshakable.

She noted that China's navy and air force activities are in line with international law, domestic law as well as national defence needs.

She said China will not accept the "award" of the South China Sea arbitration initiated unilaterally by the Philippines, adding that China will continue to work for the peaceful settlement of disputes in the South China Sea through bilateral negotiation between countries directly concerned on the basis of respect for historical facts.

Hua blamed Japan for fabricating excuses for military expansion through stirring up enmity on regional security.

She asked Japan to earnestly learn from history, stick to a peaceful development path, act prudently in the military field and gain trust from its neighbours instead of undermining regional stability.

Wu said the Chinese military has lodged solemn representations with Japan over the white paper.

In the 480-page document, some 30 pages are devoted to irresponsible remarks on China's national defence and China's normal and legal maritime activities in the East and South China Seas, he said.