China slams new Asian slant in US defence strategy

Last Updated: Monday, January 9, 2012 - 20:56

Beijing: China on Monday slammed the United
States` new Asian-focused defence strategy, saying its
accusations of a lack of openness in Beijing`s military policy
were "groundless and untrustworthy."

The strategy unveiled Thursday shifts the US military
focus away from Iraq and Afghanistan and makes a renewed
commitment to assert America`s position in the Asia-Pacific
region.

The document says the growth of China`s military power
must be accompanied by greater clarity in its strategic
intentions to avoid causing friction in the region.

In response, China said it was committed to peaceful
development and a "defensive" policy.

"China`s strategic intent is clear, open and
transparent," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told
reporters at a regular briefing.

"Our national defence modernisation serves the objective
requirements of national security and development and also
plays an active role in maintaining regional peace and
stability. It will not pose any threat to any country," Liu
said.

"The charges against China in this document are
groundless and untrustworthy."

He added that maintaining peace, stability and prosperity
in the region serve the common interests of all Asia-Pacific
countries "and we hope the US will play a more constructive
role to this end."

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said the US is not
anticipating military conflict in Asia, but that it became so
bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan after the September 11,
2001, attacks that it missed chances to improve its strategic
position elsewhere.

Panetta said the Asia-Pacific region is growing in
importance for the US economy and national security, so the
nation needed to maintain "our military`s technological edge
and freedom of action."

The new strategy also identified India as a long-term
strategic partner that can serve as a regional economic anchor
and provider of security in the Indian Ocean region.

It said the US will try to maintain peace on the Korean
peninsula by working with allies and others in Asia to defend
against North Korean provocations.

PTI



First Published: Monday, January 9, 2012 - 20:56

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