BEIJING, July 29 -- "Japan's newly released defense white paper, the Defense of Japan 2023, grossly interferes in China's internal affairs and provokes regional tensions. China is firmly opposed to this and has lodged stern representations with the Japanese side," said Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense, in a written statement on Saturday.
The Japanese government's newly released defense white paper for 2023 labels China as "an unprecedented and the greatest strategic challenge" and says that China has significantly increased defense spending, accelerated military development and "unilaterally changed the status quo" in the East and South China Seas. It also mentions the joint operations by Chinese and Russian militaries in the sea and airspace around Japan, and claims that China's military activities threaten the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
When commenting on the above-mentioned contents, Defense Spokesperson Tan pointed out that Japan's newly released defense white paper, the Defense of Japan 2023, continues its erroneous recognition of China, intentionally hypes up the so-called "China military threat", and smears China's regular military development and activities.
Spokesperson Tan stressed that Chinese military has always been a staunch force for protecting world peace and stability, and has never challenged or threatened anyone. On the contrary, it's Japan who has in recent years continuously broken through the constraints of "Pacifist Constitution" and the "exclusively defense-oriented policy" to sharply increase its defense spending and make excuses for developing its so-called "counterstrike capabilities", moving further down the road of military expansion. Japan has also followed particular major power to engage in targeted "small circles". All these Japan's acts have posed serious challenges to regional and world peace, security and stability.
Spokesperson Tan added that China is a staunch defender and builder of international maritime rule of law and its position on maritime issues is consistent and clear. Currently, the situation in the East China Sea and the South China Sea is generally stable. Certain countries have frequently sent ships and aircraft to relevant waters to show off force for their own interests, which has seriously aggravated regional tensions. China and Russia's defense cooperation is on the basis of no-alliance, no-confrontation and not targeting any third party, is committed to safeguarding regional and world peace and stability and poses no threat to any country.
Spokesperson Tan continued that Taiwan is China's Taiwan. The one-China principle, which matters the politic foundation of China-Japan relations, is a red line that shall not be crossed. Japan bears grave historical responsibility for the Chinese people on the Taiwan question. In recent years, instead of reflecting on its mistakes, Japan has repeatedly interfered in China's internal affairs, violated the basic norms governing international relations and the spirit of China-Japan four political documents, undermined the political foundation of China-Japan relations and escalated tensions across the Taiwan Strait. This is extremely wrong and dangerous.
"We urge the Japanese side to draw lessons from history, stop irresponsible words and deeds, and abandon the beggar-thy-neighbor mentality of zero-sum confrontation. Japan should establish a correct understanding of China, stay to its commitments on Taiwan question and other major issues, be cautious in words and actions in the military and security fields, and take concrete actions to bring bilateral relations to the right track," stressed Spokesperson Tan in the end of the written statement.