China warns U.S. against 'flexing muscles'

Jan. 7, 2012 at 8:32 AM
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BEIJING, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- China has warned the United States against "flexing its muscles" in the Asia-Pacific region, saying it would harm U.S.-Chinese relations.

The concerns came a day after U.S. President Barack Obama said the United States would strengthen its presence in the Asia-Pacific region while cutting billions of dollars from overall defense spending.

"While boosting its military presence in the Asia-Pacific, the United States should abstain from flexing its muscles, as this won't help solve regional disputes," China's official news agency Xinhua said in an editorial Friday.

The editorial said "the U.S. role, if fulfilled with a positive attitude and free from a Cold War-style zero-sum mentality, will not only be conducive to regional stability and prosperity, but be good for China, which needs a peaceful environment to continue its economic development."

But Xinhua warned against the United States acting like a "bull in a china shop" in the region.

The Global Times newspaper, affiliated with the Communist Party, quoted a Chinese defense expert as saying the U.S. defense strategy is targeted at China.

The expert, Renmin University analyst Jin Canrong, said the United States feels threatened by China's rapid development and warned the U.S. defense strategy could hurt U.S.-Chinese relations, Voice of America reported.

Obama this week reiterated earlier statements about the importance of a strong U.S. presence in the Asia-Pacific region, saying defense "budget reductions will not come at the expense of that critical region."

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