China has reacted with fury to a US government report on Beijing’s military power which claimed it was altering the military balance in Asia.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman said the report marked a “gross” misrepresentation of facts and urged the United States to halt the annual publication.
“This is a gross distortion of the facts and China resolutely opposes it,” ministry spokesman Qin Gang told journalists in Beijing.
“This report issued by the US side continues to play up the fallacy of China’s military threat.”
The row comes shortly after the new US president Barack Obama’s campaign pledge to improve relations with China.
More recently, he has also said he specifically wants to improve military contacts with Beijing to head off future maritime standoffs in the South China Sea such as the one which occurred between US survey ship HMS Impeccable and Chinese vessels earlier this month.
Qin Gang asked the United States to stop issuing the annual report to “avoid further damage to the two sides’ military relations.”