The Chinese military urged the United States on Thursday to respect China's core interests and concerns, correct its wrong remarks and behave in the best interest of relations between the two nations and the two militaries, a spokesman said.
Senior Colonel Tan Kefei of China's Defense Ministry said on Thursday afternoon in Beijing maintaining and developing a healthy, stable military-to-military relation is in the interest of both China and the US and is a shared hope of the international community.
"Recently, some people in the US military made wrong, irresponsible remarks pertaining to China. We strongly oppose such moves. The fundamental roots of the grim situations and serious difficulties in the bilateral relationship are that the US side is obsessed with hegemonism, Cold War mentality, zero-sum games; it denies China's rise, regards China a strategic rival and security threat and makes all-out efforts to contain China," Tan said, adding the US' acts have severely compromised China's sovereignty, security and interests.
He noted the Chinese armed forces are determined to safeguard the nation's sovereignty, security and interests as well as peace and stability in the region and the world.
The spokesman said China sticks to a peaceful development path and its defense policies are defensive in nature. The nation is always a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and a guardian of international order, he said, citing the Chinese military's participation in the United Nations' peacekeeping missions and multinational escort and humanitarian aid operations.
"It has been proved China's defense development is an engine in the growth of the world's peace and the Chinese military is a firm pillar to the peace, stability and shared prosperity in the world," Tan said.
In response to US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's statement that China's "claim to the vast majority of the South China Sea…treads on the sovereignty of the states in the region", Tan said China's sovereignty over certain islands and their surrounding waters in the South China Sea is undeniable.
The officer said China is dedicated to directly negotiating with related countries to resolve disputes on the basis of the respect of history and international law, while the US, as a nation outside the region, disrespects international laws and norms, flexes its muscles and makes trouble in the South China Sea under the disguise of "freedom of navigation", and keeps meddling in efforts by relevant countries to safeguard regional peace and stability.