'US shut up on Beijing arms spending'
Updated: 2006-08-18 06:37

The United States should "shut up" over Beijing's growing military spending, China's ambassador to the United Nations said in comments broadcast Thursday.

Ambassador Sha Zukang told British Broadcasting Corp. radio that U.S. concerns about the country's burgeoning military might were misguided.

"It's better for the U.S. to shut up," Sha said. "Keep quiet. It's much, much better.

"China's military buildup is not threatening anyone," he added. "This is a legitimate defense."

Much of its spending is defensive, ambassador Sha Zukang asserted. 

U.S. President George W. Bush's administration has recently called for closer military ties with China. A 10-member Chinese military delegation was invited to observe US naval exercises "Valiant Shield 2006," in the Pacific in the past June.

But American officials, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, have expressed unease.

Sha said other countries need not worry about China's growing economic and military might, because "China basically is a peace-loving nation."

Incomplete statistics show that in 2005 China's military expenditure was roughly at US$ 35 billion, while the Pentagon spent more than US$420 billion.


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