China slams new Asian slant in US defence strategy
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Last Updated: Monday, January 09, 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.


First Published: Monday, January 09, 2012, 20:56

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