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“China will never seek hegemony or behave in a hegemonic manner, nor will it engage in military expansion,” the white paper says.
China feels that the US “pivot” to Asia runs counter to regional trends and “frequently makes the situation tenser,” the defence ministry said in its report.
The Asian country faced “multiple and complicated security threats” despite its growing influence, the ministry of defence said in its annual white paper.
“”There are some countries which are strengthening their Asia-Pacific military alliances, expanding their military presence in the region and frequently make the situation there tenser,” the report says in reference to the US stepping up its military presence in the region.
The US administration’s announcement of a “pivot to Asia” strategy in October 2011 drew widespread suspicion and criticism in China.
America’s military pivot towards Asia, moving away from middle-east engagements and towards ensuring China does not dominate the Asian region has been a sore issue in Sino-US ties.
“Certain efforts made to highlight the military agenda, enhance military deployment and also strengthen alliances are not in line with the calling of the times and are not conducive to the upholding of peace and stability in the region,” spokesman Yang Yujun told reporters at a news conference marking the report’s release.
According to the new document, China will build a strong national defence and powerful armed forces which are “commensurate with China’s international standing and meet the needs of its security and development interests.”
China’s military expenditure last month reached $119 billion.
The country has about 850,000 army servicemen in 18 combined corps and additional independent combined operational divisions (brigades), according to the paper.
Speaking at the Boao Forum last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping has said, “Stability in Asia now faces new challenges, as hotspot issues keep emerging, and both traditional and non-traditional security threats exist.”
“No one should be allowed to throw a region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish gains,” said Xi.
With inputs from Xinhua