BEIJING – China’s defense ministry said it has lodged a formal protest with Washington over a Pentagon report that claimed the Chinese military was training to carry out strikes against the United States.
The Pentagon report, published on Friday, said China was developing long-range bombers and “likely” training its pilots for strikes against the US and its allies.
“China’s military expresses resolute opposition to this (report),” the ministry said in a statement, stressing that China’s only objective of modernizing its military was “to protect the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests, as well as global peace, stability and prosperity.”
The statement, issued late on Friday, asks Washington to abandon its “Cold War mentality” and defends the “Chinese military’s reform, weapons development and defensive capabilities in the internet space” as “just and reasonable.”
The Pentagon report had also said that Beijing was seeking to develop nuclear capabilities on its long-range bombers and that China’s air force has been reassigned a nuclear mission.
The report comes amid a trade war between the world’s two largest economies, which led to imposition of high tariffs on imports.