The Chinese military has rejected US President Donald Trump’s accusation that it is a challenge to American’s national security, according to a statement released late on Wednesday night.
The Chinese Defence Ministry said Trump’s speech on Monday “ignored facts, played up China’s defence modernisation progress, questioned the intention of Chinese military development, and gone against a peaceful developments of these times and of Sino-US relations”.
This was in response to Trump’s new national security strategy that said China was developing “advanced weapons and capabilities” that could threaten America’s “critical infrastructure and our command and control architecture”.
Trump’s strategy accused China of seeking to “displace the US in the Indo-Pacific region, expand the reach of its state-driven economic model and reorder the region in its favour”.
The president’s tone was a stark deviation from that of his predecessor Barack Obama, who named China as a “strategic partner” despite tensions between the two sides.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry and the embassy in Washington DC both rejected the claims.
The Defence Ministry said the People’s Liberation Army was not set up to threaten any country as it was designed for defensive purposes, and its development would signal the growing power of peace.
“Yet, looking at some other countries, [they] easily prioritise their own benefits over the mutual benefits of the international community, [their] minds filled with the old zero-sum game mentality. “[They] label one country and define another, [they] show obvious self-interest only- the international community would judge for themselves,” the statement said.