BEIJING, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Dedicating lengthy passages to egregious distortions about China's military power, Japan's latest version of its annual defense policy paper has done nothing but jeopardize its relations with China and heighten tensions in the region.
The 2011 white paper, like always, dutifully carries out its China-bashing tradition, nitpicking at China's defense expenditure growth and military modernization in the manner of a back seat driver.
The paper, released publicly on Tuesday, also described China's stance of managing its relations with some neighboring countries, including Japan, as "assertive."
However, the arguments the Japanese government enlisted to support its viewpoints in the defense paper are groundless and insufficient at best.
China has always conducted maritime exploration, training and other activities involving the protection of its national interests in its territorial waters. That's in line with China's legitimate demands for peaceful development.
Whenever it comes to settling its disputes with some Asian nations, China has always done its part to avert conflicts and seek solutions through candid conversations.
Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng, who said Japan's white paper was trumpeting "China threat theory," reaffirmed Thursday that China would unswervingly stick to peaceful development, develop partnerships with its neighbors and pursue a defense policy defensive in nature.
Moreover, with China's engagement with the wider world constantly expanding, it is natural and necessary for the world's second largest economy to build up defense capabilities to safeguard its sovereignty, territorial integrity and national interests around the world.
Nevertheless, Japan has bluntly turned a blind eye toward these facts and there are good reasons for that.
Japan is massively obsessed with the notion that China is a threat and should be contained. It has also been trying to invoke China's rising power as an excuse to realize military expansion and shake off the yokes of a defense-oriented policy that has been carried out since its defeat in World War II.
According to the defense paper, Japan has co-conducted a total of 13 multinational military drills in the Asia-Pacific area since last year. Its joint exercises with the United States have been even more frequent.
Furthermore, on issues concerning the South China Sea, Japan has been fanning the flames, attempting to internationalize the disputes, which China would never accept.
"We hope the Japanese side will use history as a guide, reflect on its defense policy earnestly, and make more efforts to enhance mutual trust with its neighbors," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said Wednesday.
History has repeatedly proven that such irresponsible comments and malicious intentions as those in Japan's defense paper harm regional stability and the common aspirations for peace and development in the region.
What Japan has to do at the moment is to re-examine what it means to be a responsible member of the international community.