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China criticizes Pentagon's military report

Reuters | May 25 2006

China has criticized a U.S. report on its military power, saying it exaggerated the country's defense capabilities and showed a "cold war mentality".

China's Foreign Ministry said the Pentagon's 2006 China Military Power Report released on Tuesday spreads the "China threat theory" and endangers international relations.

"The (report) has a 'cold war mentality', deliberately overstates China's military power and expenditure, continues to spread the 'China threat theory' endangers international relations and brashly interferes in China's domestic affairs," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said in a statement.

"China expresses its strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition," he said a day before Christopher Hill, the U.S. chief negotiator to talks on dismantling North Korea's nuclear program, arrived in Beijing on Thursday to meet his Chinese counterpart.

Liu denied the Pentagon report's assertions that China's military modernization altered power balances in the Asia-Pacific region, saying China was a peace-loving nation that adhered to a path of peaceful development.

The Pentagon also said China was adding about 100 short-range missiles a year for deployment opposite Taiwan, shifting the balance of power between the two toward the mainland.

Liu said China would never tolerate independence for Taiwan, the self-ruled island it claims as its own, but added that it stuck to the principal of peaceful reunification.

The Foreign Ministry also requested that Washington, which is obliged by law to help Taiwan defend itself, abide by the "one-China policy", stop selling weapons to Taiwan and not send "wrong signals" to the Taiwan independence forces.

The Pentagon has been raising alarms over China's military modernization for several years in annual military reports that China routinely denounces as being provocative and exaggerated.

This year's report praised China's globally oriented diplomacy but said its leaders had yet to explain the purposes of its military expansion and criticized its lack of transparency.

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