Tokyo's Defence White Paper full of lies, says Beijing

China says Japan using territorial waters disputes as excuse to expand military power

BEIJING • The Chinese military is firmly opposed to the China-related contents in Japan's Defence White Paper and has lodged stern representations with Tokyo, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said on Tuesday night.

In a statement published on the official website of China's Ministry of National Defence, Senior Colonel Wu said the section on China in the annual Defence White Paper is full of lies and stereotypes.

"The 2017 Defence White Paper... still contains cliches about China, which is full of vicious denigration of the Chinese military and blatant deception of the international community," said Col Wu.

In its Defence White Paper approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday, Japan claimed that "China tried to change the status quo in East China Sea and South China Sea based on its own assertions, and this has become a common concern of the region and the world at large".

Col Wu said it is "Japan that is trying to change the status quo and has caused concerns in the international community".

He said Japan is trying to amend the pacifist Constitution and make vigorous expansion of armaments, and conducts highly targeted military deployments.

ACT WITH CAUTION

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.

MR GENG SHUANG, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, on Japan's actions.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Japan has tried to play up security threats from neighbouring countries in order to create excuses for expanding its military power and amending its Constitution, according to China Daily. "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," Mr Geng said, asking Japan to do more to help enhance mutual trust between the two countries.

In the statement on Tuesday, Col Wu also refuted the Defence White Paper's "lies on China's military development and accusations of the transparency of China's defence policy", said Xinhua news agency.

He said China's national defence policy and military strategy are defensive in nature. It actively expands military exchanges and participates in peacekeeping, escort and humanitarian aid operations.

The Defence White Paper also claimed that Chinese ships have frequently "encroached upon Japan's territorial sea". Tokyo has long complained about Beijing's routine dispatch of coast guard ships to Japan's territorial waters surrounding disputed islands in the East China Sea. Tokyo controls the islands it calls the Senkaku, while Beijing claims them as the Diaoyu.

Col Wu said the Diaoyu islands and affiliated islets are Chinese territory, which is backed by both history and legal proof, and China's legitimate activities within its territorial sea will continue as a routine.

China and Asean countries had agreed on a framework of the code of conduct in the South China Sea during the Asean foreign ministers' meeting in Manila on Sunday.

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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 11, 2017, with the headline 'Tokyo's Defence White Paper full of lies, says Beijing'. Print Edition | Subscribe