Beijing: China has lodged a protest with Japan for portraying it as a military threat, saying the country has made groundless accusations by misrepresenting facts about Chinese defence development.
China`s military is strongly discontented with and firmly opposed to a recent Japanese defence report and has lodged a solemn representation to the Japanese side, a Defence Ministry spokesman here said.
"The new edition of Japan`s defence white paper deliberately ignores facts and plays up the `China`s military threat`", spokesman Geng Yansheng said in a press release.
Geng said that the Japanese white paper, which was released on Tuesday, improperly commented about China`s defence and military building, made groundless accusations against China`s legitimate conduct for safeguarding national sovereignty, and attempted to sow dissensions between China and its neighbouring countries.
He claimed that China is on a path of peaceful development and its military development is purely defensive in nature.
China-Japan experienced military tensions since last year after both countries stepped up moves to take control of the disputed islands called Daioyu by China and Senkakus by Japan.
The Japanese white paper alleged that "some of China`s activities involve its intrusion into Japan`s territorial waters, its violation of Japan`s territorial airspace and even dangerous actions that could cause a contingency".
Citing a January incident in which Japan accused a Chinese navy frigate locked weapons` radar on a Japanese destroyer in the East China Sea, the paper criticised China for denying use of the radar.
It also said the lack of transparency of Chinese military intentions is "a concern" for the region and the international community.
Reacting to these accusations, Geng said Japan`s dissemination of China`s lack of military transparency has ulterior motives.
He rejected the so-called China intrusion into Japan`s territorial waters and airspace as well as the so-called Radar incident as `ridiculous`, saying Japan`s actions of sowing discord has revealed its dangerous intentions to defame China and the Chinese military, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Geng reiterated that China is unswerving in its determination and resolves to maintain territorial sovereignty and it cannot be criticised for taking actions to safeguard sovereignty.
The Japanese government illegally "purchased" part of the Islands last September, which was a grave violation of China`s territorial sovereignty and caused tensions in bilateral relations, he said.
Geng said Japan, however, seems unwilling to reflect on its mistakes, instead, it falsely accuses China for destroying bilateral relations and being tough on the external front.
Japan`s remarks will mislead international opinions and create tensions in the region, he said.
Geng also accused Japan of using many pretexts for its military expansion in recent years.
It has developed offensive combat powers and carried out joint military drills with some countries outside the region, he said.
He also accused Japanese leaders of making `irresponsible` remarks on the country`s wartime history, noting that Japan`s moves will arouse `strong concern and high alert` among its Asian neighbours and the international community.
"We urge the Japanese side to reflect on its aggressive history, choose the path of peaceful development and win the trust of its Asian neighbours by concrete actions", Geng said.