Japan ‘disregards facts’ in white paper
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.
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.