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China blames United States for escalating military competition

By Elizabeth Shim
China blames United States for escalating military competition
China disclosed details on domestically developed in its defense white paper issued Wednesday. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

July 24 (UPI) -- China claimed in its defense white paper published Wednesday the United States is "undermining global stability."

The criticism of U.S. policy comes at a time when China has stepped up drills in the Taiwan Strait and has slammed the United States for sending military ships to the South China Sea, a vast body of water Beijing has claimed as its own.

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"[The United States] has provoked and intensified competition among major countries, significantly increased its defense expenditure, pushed for additional capacity in nuclear, outer space, cyber and missile defense," the white paper said, according to CNN.

Beijing also blamed "separatists" in Taiwan for raising tensions. The Chinese government does not recognize the island's sovereignty under its One-China policy.

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The current administration of President Tsai Ing-wen has "pursued a path of separatism" by advocating "gradual independence," the white paper titled "China's National Defense in the New Era" stated.

The paper is the first defense policy document of its kind that has been published since Chinese President Xi Jinping began to rule without term limits in 2017, according to CNN.

China's defense budget was $151 billion in 2017, which is still lower than that of the United States, according to the report.

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Beijing also disclosed details on domestically developed weapons for the first time in the white paper on Wednesday, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

China's defense ministry highlighted tanks, 052D Aegis destroyers, the Jian-20 fighter jet, and the Dongfeng-26 medium-range ballistic missile. The weapons are all self-developed, Beijing said.

The Jian-20 was introduced to the public in January 2011. The stealth fighter performed a 60-second ceremonial flight at the Zhuhai air show in November 2016.

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China's state tabloid Global Times said in an analysis the weapons are being highlighted because they have already been mass-deployed and part of training exercises.

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