China appeals to Japan to preserve regional stability following expansion of military powers

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BEIJING — China has appealed to Japan to preserve regional peace and stability after Tokyo eased its longtime restrictions on use of military force.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei urged Japan on Tuesday not to hurt Chinese sovereignty following its government's decision to reinterpret its pacifist constitution to allow the military to help defend allies.

Hong said Japan should pursue peaceful development, respect the concerns of its neighbors and refrain from undermining regional peace and stability.

China sees Japan as its main regional strategic rival and the two governments are in the midst of a dispute over ownership of a series of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.

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