BEIJING: China’s Ministry of Defence warned the United States on Monday to be “careful in its words and actions” after announcing a defence rethink that stresses responding to China’s rise by shoring up U.S. alliances and bases across Asia.
The statement from the ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng was Beijing’s fullest reaction so far to the new U.S. strategy revealed last week. It echoed the mix of wariness and outward restraint that has marked China’s response to the Obama administration’s “pivot” to Asia since late last year.
Both governments cannot afford any mistake at time when both sides grapple with domestic politics this year.
“We have noted that the United States issued this guide to its defence strategy, and we will closely observe the impact that U.S. military strategic adjustment has on the Asia-Pacific region and on global security developments,” Geng said in a statement issued on the ministry’s website.
“The accusations leveled at China by the U.S. side in this document are totally baseless,” said Geng.
“We hope that the United States will flow with the tide of the era, and deal with China and the Chinese military in an objective and rational way, will be careful in its words and actions, and do more that is beneficial to the development of relations between the two countries and their militaries.”
According to new strategy, the United States will maintain large bases in Japan and South Korea and deploy U.S. Marines, navy ships and aircraft to Australia’s Northern Territory.
it also promises to maintain its hold in Asia in an attempt to counter China’s growing ability to check U.S. power in the region, even as U.S. forces draw back elsewhere across the globe.