By Zhang Zhihao
The People's Liberation Army resolutely opposes the United States' recent actions and rhetoric that distort China's strategic intent, undermine its sovereignty and hype the so-called Chinese threat, Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang, spokesman of the Ministry of National Defense, said on Thursday.
On Tuesday, the US Congressional Research Service submitted a report to the US Congress on China's naval modernization efforts, claiming the PLA Navy is posing a major challenge to the US' ability to control the Western Pacific. It is the first time the US Navy has faced a challenge of this magnitude since the end of the Cold War, the report said.
Ren said the report ignored basic facts, twisted legitimate intentions for modernizing the PLA Navy and hyped the so-called Chinese threat to create further confrontations.
"It is not the first time the US side has done something like this," he added.
"This goes to show the arrogance and prejudice, as well as the zero-sum and Cold War mentalities of some US officials," he said. "Such actions are ridiculous, erroneous and dangerous, and the Chinese side resolutely opposes them."
Ren stressed that China has promised to adamantly follow the path of peaceful development and a national defense policy that is defensive in nature.
"We hope the US side can abandon their Cold War mentality, adapt to changing times and work with China, and take concrete actions to facilitate the healthy and stable development of China-US military-to-military relations and bilateral ties, thus jointly maintaining peace and prosperity in the region and the world," he said.
This week, satellite images showed that US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan entered the South China Sea.
In mid-September, during the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer sailed into territorial waters of China's Xisha Islands and was warned to leave by the Chinese military.
Ren said the Chinese side adamantly opposes the US carrier fleet flexing its muscles in the region.
"We demand the US side respect the security concerns of various nations from the region and add positive energy to South China Sea's peace and stability."
"The US side loves to take petty actions just before China's major holidays, but history has proved that no petty actions can affect the overall development of the Chinese military and the nation," he said. "The Chinese military will methodically fulfill its duties and safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, as well as peace and stability of the region and the world."
Last month, the US declassified a 1982 memo by US President Ronald Reagan stating Taiwan's defensive capability relative to that of the Chinese mainland would be maintained in both quantitative and qualitative terms.
The State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang said on Thursday that the memo's contents were in severe violation of the one-China principle.
"It is totally wrong and invalid," he said.
Peaceful development of cross-Straits relations is the key to peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits, he said.
Zhang Yi contributed to this story.