BEIJING, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- China on Wednesday expressed strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to Japan's defense white paper for 2017, saying Japan has made irresponsible remarks about China's marine activities.
In the white paper of more than 560 pages, Japan devoted 34 pages to unjustified criticism of China's normal defense construction and military activities.
Japan claimed in its defense white paper that "China has tried to change the status quo in the East China Sea and South China Sea based on its own assertions, and this has become a common concern of the region and the world at large."
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang accused Japan of meddling in the South China Sea issue, saying China has lodged solemn representations to the Japanese side.
Geng reaffirmed that the will of the Chinese government to safeguard national sovereignty and maritime rights and interests is firm.
He said conducting patrol and law-enforcement activities in waters off the Diaoyu Islands is China's inherent right and Japan is in no position to point fingers at those activities.
The Chinese side, carrying out normal sea and air activities in accordance with international law, relevant domestic laws and regulations as well as national defense needs, is beyond reproach, he said.
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