China: Japanese FM remarks 'irresponsible'
Updated: 2005-12-22 16:19
China on Thursday accused Japan's foreign minister of making irresponsible
remarks about Beijing becoming a "considerable threat" because of its rising
military spending and nuclear weapons.
Japan's opposition leader Seiji Maehara (R),
seen with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (L), has reiterated his
long-held view that China may be a threat to Japan despite growing
criticism of his hawkish stance. [AFP]
"As a foreign minister, to so irresponsibly incite such groundless rhetoric
about a China threat, what is the purpose?" foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang
said at a regular briefing.
Qin insisted China's increasing economy posed no threat to anyone and
had actually benefited Japan.
"China insists on a path of peaceful development. China's development has
made commonly-acknowledged contributions towards the world's peace and
stability, bringing East Asian countries, including Japan, great development
opportunities," he said.
Qin was responding to remarks made by Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Aso as
quoted by Jiji Press earlier Thursday.
"It is a neighbouring country that has nuclear bombs. Its military spending
is posting two-digit growth and the content of that is not transparent," Aso
said in the latest rift between the neighbours.
"I think it is becoming a considerable threat," he said.
Aso, an outspoken hawk appointed in late October, sided with Seiji Maehara,
head of the main opposition Democratic Party, who recently called China a
"I think it is true that (China) is a threat and stirring up worry," Aso