A spokesman for China’s defense ministry said on Sunday that the U.S. is the “destroyer of world peace” while criticizing a Pentagon report on Beijing’s military goals.
“Many years of evidence shows that it is the U.S. that is the fomenter of regional unrest, the violator of the international order and the destroyer of world peace,” he said, noting U.S. actions in Iraq, Syria, Libya and other countries, according to the news service.
“Rather than reflecting on itself, the U.S. issued a so-called report that made false comments about China’s normal defense and military construction,” he added. “We call on the U.S. to view China’s national defense and military construction objectively and rationally, cease making false statements and related reports, and take concrete actions to safeguard the healthy development of bilateral military relations.”
The Pentagon said in its annual report to Congress that China’s aims will have “serious implications for U.S. national interests and the security of the international rules-based order,” the AP noted.
“Certainly, many factors will determine how this course unfolds,” the report said. “What is certain is that (the ruling Communist Party) has a strategic end state that it is working towards, which, if achieved and its accompanying military modernization left unaddressed, will have serious implications for U.S. national interests and the security of the international rules-based order.”
The latest comments come amid deteriorating relations between the U.S. and China.
The Trump administration has blamed Beijing for the spread of COVID-19, and the two countries have clashed over trade, intellectual property, human rights abuses, Chinese claims in the South China Sea and Beijing’s imposition of a national security law over Hong Kong.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week announced new restrictions on the freedom of movement for Chinese diplomats in the U.S. China then announced restrictions on staff at the U.S. Embassy and consulates in mainland China and Hong Kong, a direct response to the U.S. moves.
In July, the U.S. ordered the closing of the Chinese Consulate in Houston and the expulsion of its diplomats. Beijing retaliated by closing the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu.