BEIJING, April 16 (UPI) -- China faces multiple and complicated security threats and challenges, an official defense white paper issued Tuesday said.
The white paper on the "diversified employment of China's armed forces," said: "The issues of subsistence and development security and the traditional and non-traditional threats to security are interwoven. Therefore, China has an arduous task to safeguard its national unification, territorial integrity and development interests," the official Xinhua news agency reported.
Without mentioning the United States by name or its Asia pivot, the white paper said "some country" has strengthened its Asia-Pacific military alliances, expanded its military presence in the region and frequently makes the situation there tenser.
China's growing military strength and its aggressive territorial claims in the South China Sea and the East China Sea have raised international concerns.
The country's official defense budget will be $119 billion this year, up more than 10 percent from last year's $106.4 billion.
The white paper, referring to China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, said "neighboring countries" are taking actions that complicate or exacerbate the situation, and that Japan is "making trouble" over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. The islands, called the Diaoyu Islands by China, are also claimed by Beijing.
The white paper said threats posed by terrorism, separatism and extremism, were on the rise and the "Taiwan independence" forces are the biggest threat to the peaceful development of cross-strait relations. China claims Taiwan is a breakaway province.
The white paper said major powers are vigorously developing sophisticated military technologies to ensure they can maintain strategic superiorities in areas such as outer space and cyberspace.
The white paper is the eighth the Chinese government has issued since 1998. It is the first since Xi Jinping became president this year.
"China will never seek hegemony or behave in a hegemonic manner nor will it engage in military expansion," the white paper said.
It said the People's Liberation Army's navy is intensifying blue-water training and organizing the training of different formations of combined task forces composed of new types of destroyers, frigates, ocean-going replenishment ships and ship-borne helicopters.
"The Chinese navy is increasing its research and training on tasks in complex battlefield environments, highlighting the training of remote early warning, comprehensive control, open sea interception, long-range raid, anti-submarine warfare and vessel protection at distant sea," it said.