Ja­pan ‘dis­re­gards facts’ in white paper

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By MO JINGXI mo­jingxi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

We urge the Ja­panese side to draw lessons from his­tory, stick to the path of peace­ful de­vel­op­ment and act with cau­tion in mil­i­tary and se­cu­rity fields.”

China is strongly dis­sat­is­fied with and firmly op­posed to the China-re­lated con­tents in Ja­pan’s lat­est de­fense white paper, For­eign Min­istry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Wed­nes­day.

“The de­fense white paper, again, dis­re­gards facts and is as corny as it used to be. It made ground­less ac­cu­sa­tions against China’s nor­mal na­tional de­fense con­struc­tion and mil­i­tary ac­tiv­i­ties, made ir­re­spon­si­ble re­marks on China’s mar­itime ac­tiv­i­ties and made mis­chief on the South China Sea issue,” Geng said in a state­ment.

In its de­fense white paper for 2017, ap­proved by the Cabi­net on Tues­day, Ja­pan de­voted 34 pages to ir­re­spon­si­ble re­marks about China’s na­tional de­fense sys­tem and mud­dy­ing China’s nor­mal and jus­ti­fied mar­itime ac­tiv­i­ties in the East and South China Seas as “at­tempts to change the sta­tus quo by co­er­cion”.

Geng said Ja­pan has ad­justed its mil­i­tary and se­cu­rity poli­cies in re­cent years and tried to play up se­cu­rity threats from neigh­bor­ing coun­tries in or­der to cre­ate ex­cuses for ex­pand­ing its mil­i­tary power and amend­ing its Con­sti­tu­tion.

“We urge the Ja­panese side to draw lessons from his­tory, stick to the path of peace­ful de­vel­op­ment and act with cau­tion in mil­i­tary and se­cu­rity fields,” he said, ask­ing Ja­pan to do more to help en­hance mu­tual trust in pol­i­tics and se­cu­rity be­tween the two coun­tries “in­stead of the op­po­site”.

The De­fense Min­istry also ex­pressed the Chi­nese mil­i­tary’s firm op­po­si­tion to Ja­pan’s white paper, say­ing it is Ja­pan that is try­ing to change the sta­tus quo.

“The 2017 de­fense white paper ... still con­tains cliche about China, which is full of vi­cious den­i­gra­tion of the Chi­nese mil­i­tary and bla­tant de­cep­tion of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity,” min­istry spokesman Wu Qian said in a state­ment.

“We urged the Ja­panese side to re­flect on his­tory, re­spect facts and stop its ground­less ac­cu­sa­tion about China and de­cep­tion of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity,” he said.

China and ASEAN coun­tries agreed on a frame­work of the Code of Con­duct in the South China Sea dur­ing the ASEAN for­eign min­is­ters’ meet­ing in Manila, Philip­pines, on Sun­day.

For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi has called on Ja­pan to play a more con­struc­tive role in re­gional peace and sta­bil­ity in­stead of fol­low­ing other coun­tries’ lead to stir up trou­ble.

Da Zhi­gang, di­rec­tor of the In­sti­tute of North­east Asian Stud­ies at Hei­longjiang Acad­emy of So­cial Sciences, said Ja­pan is mak­ing ex­cuses for ex­pand­ing its mil­i­tary.

“It is try­ing to sup­press China by hyp­ing up a tur­bu­lent sur­round­ing en­vi­ron­ment, and China should be wary of its move,” he added.

Zhou Jin con­trib­uted to this story.

WU HONG / REUTERS

For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi and Cana­dian For­eign Min­is­ter Chrys­tia Free­land, at the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs of­fice in Bei­jing on Wed­nes­day, dis­cussed ar­eas of agree­ment.

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