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China rejects US criticism of its military

Last Updated: Friday, September 18, 2009 - 12:09

Beijing: China dismissed US accusations that the growth and modernisation of its military poses a threat, saying on Friday that the comments were groundless and irresponsible.
The rejection of the US criticism comes just weeks before China shows off its military muscle with a hardware display expected to be the centrepiece of a grandiose parade through Beijing on October 1 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People`s Republic.

Earlier this week, US National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair released the 2009 National Intelligence Strategy, which raised US concerns about China`s aggressive pursuit of natural resources around the world and its work to modernise its military.

Hu Changming, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defence, said "the US should respect China`s national defence policy and take measures to correct the wrong comments," according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

Hu called the US comments "totally groundless and irresponsible," according to Xinhua.

Blair said in a speech that US naval carriers and air bases in the Pacific face new threats from China`s modernisation and that China has become "very aggressive" in the cyberworld.

"China shares many interests with the United States, but its increasing natural resource-focused diplomacy and military modernisation are among the factors making it a complex global challenge," the report said.

China, with its People`s Liberation Army of 2.3 million members, has long been tight-lipped about its military strength and capacity, drawing criticism and concern from the US, which has been wary of the Asian giant`s growing power and skyrocketing military spending which reached USD 71 billion this year, though analysts believe the actual figure is much higher.

The spending is second to the US but a fraction of American defence spending. Beijing says its increased defence spending is not a threat to other countries.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, September 18, 2009 - 12:09
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