China says an annual report on the Chinese military, issued by the Pentagon, distorts the facts and wrongly presents the Asian giant as a military threat.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang was blunt in expressing his government's resolute opposition to the U.S. government report.
Qin says the report issued by the U.S. side continues to play up what he called "the fallacy of China's so-called military threat." He calls the Pentagon report a "gross distortion of facts and interference in China's internal affairs."
The U.S. Defense Department's annual report on China's military power said the Asian nation continues to increase the pace and scope of its military modernization. It also expressed concern about a lack of clarity on how Chinese leaders intend to use their growing capabilities.
Speaking to reporters in Beijing Thursday, the Chinese spokesman did not specifically address the issue of transparency, but said his country has no plans to retaliate with a report on the U.S. military.
Qin says the expansion of the U.S. military is already well known, so he thinks it is not necessary for China to issue its own report.
One specific issue the Pentagon report raised is China's continued build-up of missiles across the Taiwan Strait, aimed at the island Beijing regards as a renegade province.
The Chinese spokesman re-emphasized Beijing's position that Taiwan is the most sensitive issue in Sino-American relations. He urged the United States to oppose Taiwan independence and take concrete actions to support the peaceful development of cross-Straits ties.
He called on the U.S. side to "drop Cold War mentality and bias, stop issuing the so-called report on China's military power and stop making groundless accusations against China, so as not to further damage the two countries' military relations."
In October, China suspended military-to-military contacts with the United States to protest an arms sale to Taiwan. Although military ties were further tested by an incident earlier this month, when five Chinese ships harassed a U.S. Navy ship in the South China Sea, the Pentagon says Sino-American military contacts are still set to resume soon.