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Japan's huge military expense questioned
(China Daily/chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2005-12-14 06:20

Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang delivered a stern rebuke to Japan yesterday, refuting claims that China poses a threat to neighbouring countries.

China strongly opposes to the assault of the US government on the pretext of human rights issue, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Sunday.
Qin Gang invites questions at a press conferce in Beijing. [newsphoto/file]
Qin said accusing remarks by Democratic Party of Japan President Seiji Maehara, who said China is a practical threat and urged Beijing to increase military transparency, is groundless.

"We are always seeking development along a peaceful path."

He noted that China hopes Japanese Government and public figures to make contribution to improve a bilateral friendship.

Qin said in a news conference that China adheres to peaceful development and a defensive national defence policy. He added that its military expenditure should not only cover the livelihood and training expenses of those serving in the army but also meet the country's current national defence requirements in a world with numerous complicated changes.

Qin then made a comparison between the total and per capita military expenses of the two neighbours. China's military expenses reached US$25.6 billion last year while Japan reportedly spends 1.62 times of this amount. In per capita expense, China is only US$23, compared to Japan's US$2,300.

"Japan has only 4 per cent of China's land area and one-tenth of China's population. But they has such a huge military expenditure. What are Japan's motives?" Qin asked.

Maehara, 43, made his first diplomatic mission with a weeklong visit to the United States on December 6, and touched down in Beijing on Sunday for a three-day visit.

As a guest of International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Maehara had already held talks with State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan and the Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo.

It is reported that Maehara has asked China to arrange for him to meet Chinese top leaders to discuss the Yasukuni Shrine and other pending issues in an attempt to play a role in mending ties between Tokyo and Beijing.
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