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Asia-Pacific

China accuses US of destabilising region

Increased military presence in Asia-Pacific poses "security threats", Chinese defence ministry says in white paper.

Last Modified: 16 Apr 2013 20:05
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China has criticised US deployment of ships and its increasing cooperation with Asian treaty partners [EPA]

China has accused the US of destabilising the Asia-Pacific region by strengthening its military presence in the area.

China made the claim in its defence ministry’s annual white paper, saying the US was sending more ships, planes and troops into the region.

"There are some countries which are strengthening their Asia-Pacific military alliances, expanding their military presence in the region and frequently make the situation there tenser,” the document, published on Tuesday, said.

It states that the US policy has emboldened Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam regarding territorial disputes and China now faces “multiple and complicated security threats”.

“Certain efforts made to highlight the military agenda, enhance military deployment and also strengthen alliances are not in line with the calling of the times and are not conducive to the upholding of peace and stability in the region,” Yang Yujun, spokesman, said at a news conference marking the report's release.

China has criticised the US deployment of ships and personnel to Asia, as well as its increasing cooperation with treaty partners, including Japan, South Korea and the Philippines.

Re-orientation defended

For his part, John Kerry, US secretary of state, defended the re-orientation of US foreign policy as he ended his trip to the region.

The US calls the restructuring a natural reallocation of resources to the world's most economically dynamic region.

China, however, sees it as designed to contain its diplomatic, military and economic rise.

We will not attack unless we are attacked, but we will surely counterattack if attacked.

Annual white paper, Chinese ministry of defence

The US policy determines that 60 percent of the navy's fleet will be deployed to the Pacific by 2020.

Singapore will house four new US Littoral Combat Ships designed to fight close to shorelines, while Indonesia wants to buy a range of American hardware and take part in joint manoeuvres.

The Philippines wants to host more US troops and Australia has agreed to allow up to 2,500 Marine Corps soldiers to deploy to the northern city of Darwin.

China has also been angered by what it sees as US support for its opponents in disputes with Japan, the Philippines and others over territory in the East China and South China seas.

“China views the US actions as proving it is biased against it,” Qian Liwei, an associated research fellow at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, wrote in the official English-language newspaper, China Daily, on Tuesday.

“It will take time and patience to convince China that it isn't the target of the US's rebalancing.”

In its report, the defence ministry tried to address concerns about its 500-percent-plus increase in defence spending over the past 14 years, making China's defence budget the second largest in the world after America.

Much of the report was devoted to the military's contribution to UN peacekeeping efforts and disaster relief.

It also asserted the army's role as a guarantor of China's core interests, pledging to tolerate no violation of those.

"China will resolutely take all necessary measures to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the report said.

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