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White House: China not considered a threat
Updated: 2005-07-21 09:13

WASHINGTON - The United States does not consider China a threat, the White House said after China protested about a Defense Department report which expressed concern about its military buildup.

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan answers questions during his daily briefing July 18, 2005, at the White House. [Reuters] 
"We're committed to peace and stability in the region, but that should not be viewed as us viewing China as a threat," White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters.

"We're looking to move forward in a constructive and cooperative way with China, and we certainly have a very open and candid discussion with China on many issues," added the spokesman.

"We do have concerns about the size and pace of China's military modernization, and it's important for us to pay close attention to it."

Beijing reacted angrily to the report which said the size and pace of China's weapons acquisitions could threaten the military balance with Taiwan and pose a threat to other armies in the Asia region.

"The report unreasonably attacks the modernisation of Chinese national defense and rudely castigates China's normal national defence constructions and military deployment," China's Vice Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said when he summoned David S. Sedney, charge d'affaires of the US Embassy in China, to make clear the country's dissatisfaction with the report in Beijing July 20.

"The report overlooks facts, endeavours to spread the 'China threat theory', rudely interferes with China's internal affairs and foments discord between China and other countries."

The US administration is facing mounting pressure at home over the relationship with China. President George W. Bush on Tuesday acknowledged "difficulties" with China over trade and intellectual property rights and human rights but would not discuss the military report.

"It's a good relationship but it's a complex relationship," Bush said on the sidelines of a meeting with Australian Prime Minister John Howard.
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