BEIJING, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- China termed as "irresponsible" Japan's expressions of concern about recent Chinese maritime military activities.
The Japanese concerns were expressed in their 2011 defense white paper released Tuesday by the Defense Ministry, calling attention to Chinese naval operations near Japan and the development of bases.
"The Japanese 2011 defense white paper made carping and irresponsible comments on China's national defense construction," the state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu as saying.
Ma said China's national defense and military modernization is only for safeguarding its national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, not for targeting any other country.
"China's development is offering significant opportunities to all countries in the world, including Japan," he said. "China has not [been], and will never be, a threat to any other country."
Ma said he hoped Japan "can learn from the past, seriously reflect on its own defense policy and do more to deepen mutual trust with neighboring countries … ."
The white paper said, "China's future actions are worrisome, given what can be interpreted as its overbearing ways to address its clashing interests with neighboring countries, including Japan," Kyodo News reported.
Japan is concerned about China's stepped-up activities near the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. One such activity included a Chinese marine research vessel spotted last Sunday near Uotsuri Island in the islet group, which both countries claim, Kyodo reported.
China's claims in the South China Sea are raising similar concerns among other neighboring countries.