China’s Defence ministry has blasted a critical US report on its military ambitions, saying it is the US that poses the biggest threat to the international order and world peace.
The statement follows the September 2 release of the annual Defence Department report to Congress on Chinese military developments and goals that it said would have “serious implications for US national interests and the security of the international rules-based order.”
Defence ministry spokesman Colonel Wu Qian called the report a “wanton distortion” of China’s aims.
“Many years of evidence shows that it is the US that is the fomenter of regional unrest, the violator of the international order and the destroyer of world peace,” he said.
US actions in Iraq, Syria, Libya and other countries over the past two decades have resulted in the deaths of more than 800,000 people and displacement of millions, Qian said.
“We call on the US to view China’s national defence and military construction objectively and rationally, cease making false statements and related reports, and take concrete actions to safeguard the healthy development of bilateral military relations,” the statement said.
Running to more than 150 pages, the US report examined the Chinese military’s technical capabilities, doctrines and the ultimate aims of its build-up.
Much of the report was devoted to analysing China’s strategy toward Taiwan, a US ally which China considers a part of its territory to be annexed by force if necessary. China’s military capabilities dwarf those of the island of 23 million in numerical terms, although any invasion of Taiwan would be complex and would carry major political risks, the report said.
It also looked at areas where the 2 million-member People’s Liberation Army, the world’s largest standing military, has overtaken the US. China’s navy is now the world’s largest with approximately 350 ships and submarines compared to around 293 for the US.
China has also built a considerable arsenal of land-based ballistic and cruise missiles and has one of the world’s largest forces of advanced long-range surface-to-air systems, the report said.
This year’s report comes as relations between Beijing and Washington have hit their lowest ebb in decades amid simmering disputes over trade, technology, Taiwan, human rights and the South China Sea.