A senior Chinese official has expressed annoyance over a recently released military strategy by the US Defense Department, saying Washington is stuck in a "Cold War mentality".
Offering China’s official response to the new document, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Friday that the strategy "groundlessly and irrationally exaggerates the China threat" in the Asia-Pacific region.
Hua also suggested that Washington should "throw away its Cold War mentality, and take an unbiased perspective of China's strategic intention."
Elsewhere in her remarks, the Chinese official also defended an ongoing construction work on Nansha Islands, which lie at the heart of the South China Sea territorial dispute, saying the projects serve civilian purposes.
The Chinese government has "already clearly explained our stance on the issue of construction of islands and reefs in the South China Sea several times," Hua said, adding that China's actions are "lawful, justified, and reasonable."
China claims sovereignty over almost the whole of the South China Sea, which is also claimed in part by Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
Beijing has repeatedly announced that the construction activities fall within China’s sovereign rights, stressing that most of the installations, once completed, will assist navigation in the South China Sea.
An AP photo shows officers of Chinese naval forces in the South China Sea.
Beijing accuses Washington, which has sided with China’s rivals in the territorial dispute, of meddling in the regional issues and deliberately stirring up tensions in the South China Sea.
On Wednesday, the Pentagon released the policy document outlining the strategic aims of the US armed services.
Moreover, senior officials in Moscow have also expressed regret over the hostile language used in relation to Russia in the report.
Reacting to the document, Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitri Peskov said on Thursday that the report "suggests a confrontational attitude devoid of any objectivity in regard to our country."
China and Russia have repeatedly warned the US to stay out of the regional territorial dispute. Moscow and Beijing have held many naval drills in Pacific waters since 2012 to boost regional security.