BEIJING, Aug. 4 (UPI) — China termed as “irresponsible” Japan’s expressions of concerns about Chinese military’s recent maritime activities.
The Japanese concerns were expressed in its 2011 defense white paper released Tuesday by its Defense Ministry, calling attention to Chinese naval operations near Japan and the development of bases.
“The Japanese 2011 defense white paper made carping and irresponsible comments on China’s national defense construction,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
Ma said China’s national defense and military modernization is only for safeguarding its national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, not for targeting any other country.
“China’s development is offering significant opportunities to all countries in the world including Japan,” he said. “China has not, and will never be a threat to any other country.”
Ma said he hoped Japan “can learn from the past, seriously reflect on its own defense policy and do more to deepen mutual trust with neighboring countries …”
The white paper said, “China’s future actions are worrisome, given what can be interpreted as its overbearing ways to address its clashing interests with neighboring countries, including Japan,” Kyodo News reported.
Japan is concerned about China’s stepped-up activities near the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. One such activity included spotting of a Chinese marine research vessel last Sunday near Uotsuri Island in the islet group, which China claims, Kyodo reported.
China’s claims in the South China Sea are raising similar concerns among other neighboring countries in the region.