By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ANKARA – China on Monday slammed the latest Pentagon report which claimed Beijing’s military modernization has the “potential to erode core U.S. advantages in technology and operations”.
Addressing a news conference in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that the Pentagon report has “made many untrue remarks on Chinese policy and also deliberately distorted China's strategic intention and spread the China threat theory,” Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.
The Pentagon had also claimed that the Chinese army was mulling construction of an army base in Pakistan.
“We firmly oppose that. Facts have proven that China is committed to peaceful development and following a national defense policy that its defensive in nature,” Geng said.
Urging U.S. to abandon what he called “zero sum game and cold war mentality”, Geng said: “We believe our two militaries should strengthen cooperation and dialogue to avoid miscalculation leading to conflict.”
“The U.S. should look China's development in an objective manner and stop issuing such irresponsible reports year after year and do more to improve our military to military ties,” he added.
China also protested the sailing of two U.S. warships near islands it claims in the disputed South China Sea.
U.S. guided-missile destroyers 'Preble' and 'Chung Hoon' travelled within 12 nautical miles of Gaven and Johnson Reefs in the Spratly Islands which Beijing calls Nansha, PTI said.
Geng said the Chinese navy identified the U.S. vessels and asked them to leave as per Chinese law.