Brickbats from Beijing: Pentagon island-building warning hypes up threat

China says a fearful U.S. military report has hyped up its threat and damaged trust between the two countries. Beijing’s defence ministry was enraged by the assessment of its island-building efforts in the South China Sea, saying it had “wilfully distorted China’s national defense policy”. It has expressed its “strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition” to the Pentagon document, saying the U.S. was too suspicious.

China follows a national defense policy that is defensive in nature.

Defence ministry spokesman Yang Yujun

The Pentagon report said the planned addition of military infrastructure would give China long-term “civil-military bases” in the contested waters. It estimated that China’s reclamation work had added more than 3,200 acres (1,300 hectares) of land on seven features it occupied in the Spratly Islands in the space of two years. But China’s defence ministry said it was the U.S. that had been flexing its military muscle by frequently sending military aircraft and warships to the region. America had pushed forward militarization of the South China Sea with an “intention to exert hegemony”, spokesman Yang Yujun added.