Friday, April 1, 2011

We will never bully our neighbours: China

BEIJING: China has assured its neighbours it will never play the bully. The government released a key defense policy document on Thursday promising to build trust with neighbouring countries in the military sphere. 

China is pursuing "an effective way to maintain national security and development, and safeguard regional peace and stability," the document said. 

"At present and in future, no matter how developed China is, China will never seek hegemony or pursue expansionist policies," Defence Ministry spokesmanGeng Yansheng said. "China's armed forces adopt a peaceful, cooperative and constructive approach in participating in international military affairs," he said. 

The document comes within days of the People's Liberation Army testing its integrated air defence capability under the scenario of a massive air strike. The tests that included surface-to-air missiles aimed at bringing compatibility among various kinds of missile systems, official reports said. 

Beijing also voiced concern over attempts by other countries to contain its growing power in the Asian region. Beijing is particularly peeved at what it regards as growing influence of the United States in Asia resulting in higher levels of friction in the region. 

"Suspicion about China, interference and countering moves against China from the outside are on the increase," the Chinese government said in a key military policy document released on Thursday. It expressed worries about the United States trying to enhance its influence in Asia resulting in growing friction in the region. 

China reiterated its earlier warnings about "fierce" regional competition and an increasingly "volatile" security scenario in Asia. 

"Major powers are stepping up the realignment of their security and military strategies, accelerating military reform and vigorously developing new ... military technologies." 

The document comes in the wake of sharp differences between Beijing and Tokyo over ownership of an island, and worldwide apprehension over large scale investments made by the Chinese militaryin its weapons modernization program. 

China's official defence spending rose 12.7 per cent this year to about 601 billion Yuan ($91.5 billion), the second highest in the world behind the United States. But military observers say this figure does not include a wide range of investments made on infrastructure and other strategic areas by different agencies of the government including the People's Liberation Army.

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