China here on Monday refutes U.S. defense secretary's recent claim that China is destabilizing the Indo-Pacific, saying the relevant remarks were just shifting blames in an irresponsible manner, and China's military development is purely defensive in nature.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying made the remarks when answering reporters' questions.
She said that for a long time, the United States has been grossly interfering in the affairs of regional countries in the Asia Pacific. Politically, it has tried to drive a wedge between them by promoting so-called "Indo-Pacific strategy". It has adopted a selfish beggar-thy-neighbor approach in economic affairs while making military deployment and strengthening military allies in the region.
"It's crystal clear who is undermining regional stability in Asia-Pacific," said Hua.
Hua said for some time the United States has been using China as an excuse on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) and other issues, hyping up so-called "China's missile threat" in total disregard of the facts. This is just what the United States always does to shift blames to other countries.
Hua said despite strong international opposition, the United States chose to withdraw from the INF Treaty. Now it is hastily seeking to deploy intermediate-range missiles in Asia.
"This in fact reveals the real intention of the US withdrawal from the treaty," said Hua.
In the meantime, Hua said China pursues a defense policy that is defensive in nature.
"We develop military power out of self-defense purpose. We do not intend to and will not pose a threat to any country," she said.
"All of China's land-based short- and intermediate-range missiles are deployed within our territory, which testifies to the defensive nature of our defense policy," she said.
"However, if the United States deploys intermediate-range missiles in Asia-Pacific, especially around China, its aim will apparently be offensive," said Hua, adding that if the United States insists on doing so, the international and regional security will inevitably be severely undermined.
"China will not just sit idly by and watch our interests being compromised. What's more, we will not allow any country to stir up troubles at our doorstep. We will take all necessary measures to safeguard national security interests," said Hua.
"We hope the US will exercise prudence and refrain from escalating tensions or undermining international and regional peace," said Hua.