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International relations

China slams Japan's defense white paper for 'accusations'

Japan warns of Beijing's intimidation of Taiwan in annual government report

 Chinese, Russian and Iranian warships in Indian Ocean drills in January: China blasted Japan's defense white paper for "smears" against it. (Iranian Army/West Asia News Agency via Reuters)

BEIJING (Reuters) -- China said on Friday it firmly opposed Japan's new defense white paper and had sent stern representations to Tokyo.

Japan warned in the annual paper earlier on Friday of escalating national security threats, including repercussions from Russia's war with Ukraine, China's intimidation of Taiwan, and vulnerable technology supply chains.

"Japan's new defense white paper makes accusations and smears China's defense policy, market economic development and legitimate maritime activities," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a daily news briefing.

Wang said the report "exaggerates the so-called China threat" and interferes in China's internal affairs on Taiwan.

"China has expressed its strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition to this, and has lodged stern representations to the Japanese side about this," he said.

Wang noted that the defense white paper mentioned Tokyo's plan to increase Japan's defense budget and develop its counterstrike capabilities.

"We urge the Japanese side to immediately stop the erroneous practice of exaggerating security threats in its neighborhood and finding excuses for its own strong military arsenal," Wang added.

Japan's paper described Russia's attack on Ukraine as a "serious violation of international law" and raises concerns that its use of force to resolve a dispute established a precedent that threatens the security of neighboring Taiwan, which Beijing views as its own territory.

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