Defense Spokesman Wu Qian described the report from the US Secretary of Defense as a “provocative act, which has seriously damaged the relations between the two militaries.”
On September 1, the US’ report warned that China’s “military modernization left unaddressed, will have serious implications for US national interests and the security of the international rules-based order.”
China aims to build the People’s Liberation Army into a “world-class” military by 2049 and in recent years has taken steps to reorganize and upgrade the army as part of a broader goal of restoring China’s international status.
The PLA, chaired by President Xi Jinping, has the largest standing army in the world and the largest navy, although unlike other global powers its military is an arm of the Communist Party and not the state.
Wu said the PLA “belongs to the people,” adding that China was on a path towards “peaceful development” and unlike US actions in the Middle East, China uses its military as a “staunch force for maintaining world peace.”
Wu also threatened the US over its close relationship with Taiwan, an island democracy that is claimed by Beijing as part of Chinese territory.
He said the PLA would “take all necessary measures to resolutely defeat any attempts and actions” to separate China from Taiwan and defend China’s “territorial integrity.”