China says will not threaten anyone with modern military | Pakistan Today

China says will not threaten anyone with modern military

China’s Defence Minister General Liang Guanglie sought to reassure Asia Pacific neighbours on Sunday that his country’s growing economic and military power was not a threat, as long-running maritime disputes in the region flare up again. He told the annual Shangri-La security conference in Singapore that the modernisation of the People’s Liberation Army was in line with the country’s economic growth and to meet its security requirements.
“We do not intend to threaten any country with the modernisation of our military force. I know many people tend to believe that with the wealth of China’s economy, China will be a military threat,” he said, speaking dressed in full military uniform. “I would like to say that it is not our option. We didn’t seek to, we are not seeking to and we will not seek hegemony and we will not threaten any country.” China will beef up its military budget by 12.7 percent this year, the government announced in March, a return to double-digit spending increases that stirred unease in the region as well as in the United States which has long had a strong presence in the Asia-Pacific region.
China’s growing military influence has coincided with a more assertive diplomatic tone, evident in rows with Japan and Southeast Asia over disputed islands, and in rows with Washington over trade, the yuan currency and this week over cyber-security after Google said email accounts had been hacked in an attack that appeared to originate from China. But Liang said the situation in the South China Sea where a territorial dispute with Vietnam and the Philippines heated up last month was now stable. “China is committed to maintaining peace and stability in the South China sea,” he said, adding it stood by a 2002 code of conduct signed with members of the Association of South East Asian Nations to resolve peacefully the rival claims over the resource-rich region.
Both Vietnam and the Philippines have complained about Chinese activity and even harassment in the contested South China Sea over the past week or so. China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan all claim territories in the sea, which covers an important shipping route and is thought to hold untapped oil and gas reserves. China’s claim is by far the largest, forming a vast U-shape over most of the sea’s 648,000 square miles (1.7 million square km), including the Spratly and Paracel archipelagos. The Philippines said this week that Chinese naval ships and a surveillance vessel placed a buoy and posts near a bank in the part of the South China sea that Manila claims as its territory.
The incident happened last month while Liang himself was in Manila on an official tour. Tension also increased with Vietnam last month after Hanoi said a Vietnamese oil and gas exploration ship had its surveying cables cut by Chinese boats. A Vietnamese government minister said on Sunday while the land borders had been settled with China, the dispute over the seas remained.



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