BEIJING (AP) — China on Monday lashed out at criticism from U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, accusing him of harboring a Cold War mentality and saying Beijing has no interest in "playing a role in a Hollywood movie" of Washington's design.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters Carter's comment last week that China was creating a "Great Wall of self-isolation" was merely an attempt to provide cover for U.S. plans to deploy additional military forces to the Asia-Pacific region.
Carter's remarks "laid bare the stereotypical U.S. thinking and U.S. hegemony," Hua said at a daily news briefing.
"Indeed, there are some in the U.S. who live physically in the 21st century, but whose minds are stuck in the in the Cold War era," she said.
"China has no interest in any form of Cold War, nor are we interested in playing a role in a Hollywood movie written and directed by certain U.S. military officials. However, China has no fear of and will counter any actions that threaten and undermine China's sovereignty and security," Hua said.
In a commencement speech Friday at the U.S. Naval Academy, Carter said China wants and enjoys the benefits of free trade and a free internet, but sometimes chooses to restrict both. He said the U.S. also continues to be concerned about Beijing's actions in the disputed South China Sea, where Beijing has sought to strengthen its claim to almost the entire region by building new islands atop coral outcroppings and adding airstrips, harbors and military infrastructure.
The United States is committed to upholding the freedom of navigation and commerce, and peaceful resolution of disputes, Carter said.
"China's actions (in the South China Sea) challenge fundamental principles, and we can't look the other way," Carter said.