China media: Japan's defence budget

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe
Image caption Newspapers say Mr Abe made an indirect reference to Beijing

Media in China are rebuking Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for justifying Tokyo's recent defence budget increase.

Newspapers accuse Mr Abe of making an indirect reference to Beijing when he mentioned that "an immediate neighbour" of Japan has been increasing its military spending by more than 10% annually.

Mr Abe was speaking at an event hosted by the Hudson Institute think-tank in New York on Wednesday.

"Abe said the increase has not been as big as that of 'an immediate neighbour', apparently alluding to China," notes the Global Times.

Chinese experts say Mr Abe's defence budget comparison between China and Japan is wrong.

"Tokyo's logic is incorrect. It has overblown China's increasing military strength as a threat and then increased defence spending for remote islands in the south-west," Wu Huaizhong, a Japan affairs expert at the state-run Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, tells the China Daily.

"The Japanese must never forget that Hitler gained a lot of people's sympathy and support in Germany in the past, but he was irresponsible and pushed them step-by-step into a dark abyss. It was already too late when they realised what was happening!" writes Zhou Yongsheng, a professor of international relations at the China Foreign Affairs University, in the Global Times.

In other news, some media outlets are warning that public outrage over the execution of a street vendor and anger directed at Li Tianyi, the teenage son of famous Chinese military singers who was convicted of rape on Thursday, are signs of deeper social discontent.

Hong Kong's Apple Daily notes that netizens welcomed the sentencing of Li Tianyi, but described his 10-year jail term as "light sentence".

Beijing's Global Times believes that the strong public reactions to the two cases stem from deeper social grievances.

"There is extreme disgust at the privileges of the rich and famous, and opposition against the authority of state power over individuals, especially vulnerable individuals... The impact of the Li case on the 'second-generation children of officials' and 'second generation rich' as well as their families should be profound," it says.

"Netizens do not dare blame those in power, so they can only use the Li Tianyi case to vent all kinds of discontent towards the system and reality... The judicial trials of the authorities have been overtaken by trials by public opinion. If the rich-poor divide and social injustice are not resolved, there will be endless similar events," Hong Kong daily The Sun.

'Criticism and self-criticism'

And finally, the People's Daily and other official media are praising President Xi Jinping for asking officials to engage in "criticism and self-criticism" sessions.

"Criticisms and self-criticism are forceful weapons to solve contradictions within the party," Mr Xi said while attending a three-day "criticism and self-criticism" session of senior provincial party leaders in central Hebei province.

The officials were encouraged to admit to their failings as well as criticise their colleagues.

The Global Times, however, says many netizens suspect that the revival of "criticism and self-criticism" sessions could end up as another case of lip service or "formalism".

"There is no need to doubt their popularity and their positive influence on the whole of society. A small number of people on the internet are seizing upon this for their own ends. This is definitely not the mainstream attitude of society," the paper says in an editorial.

Hong Kong's Oriental Daily News instead calls for stronger public supervision, mandatory asset disclosure for officials and penalties for "naked officials" who send assets and families abroad.

"The system of criticisms and self-criticisms cannot get rid of the stereotype of Communist China's politics. If China is to move forward, it must govern according to the rule of law," it says.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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