Foreign ships, aircraft in East and South China seas escalating tensions: China's Defence Ministry

BEIJING – The frequent dispatch of ships and aircraft by certain unnamed countries to “show off their military force for self-interest” has raised tensions in the East and South China seas, China’s Defence Ministry said on Saturday.

In comments about a Japanese defence report flagging Chinese threats, ministry spokesman Tan Kefei said the actions have seriously aggravated regional tensions, even as the overall situation in the East China Sea and South China Sea was generally stable.

Senior Colonel Tan said Japan’s annual defence paper projected a “wrong perception” of China, and “deliberately exaggerates the so-called Chinese military threat”.

China has lodged stern representations to Tokyo, expressing resolute opposition to the paper, he said.

He also reiterated that Japan has continuously interfered in China’s internal affairs, violated international relations norms, undermined the foundation of Sino-Japanese relations and aggravated the situation in the Taiwan Strait.

Japan released its annual defence paper last week, offering a gloomy assessment of the threat of China’s territorial ambitions, its security partnership with Russia and a belligerent North Korea.

It had in a paper in 2022 described Russia’s attack on Ukraine as a “serious violation of international law” and raises concerns that its use of force to resolve a dispute established a precedent that threatens the security of neighbouring Taiwan, which Beijing views as its own territory.

In December, Japan announced doubling its defence spending over the next five years, undertaking its biggest military build-up since World War II.

“China-Russia cooperation in the field of defence is based on non-alignment, non-confrontation and non-targeting of third parties, and is committed to maintaining peace and stability in the region and the world, without posing a threat to any country,” Senior Col Tan said. REUTERS


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