BEIJING (Agencies) - China, while reacting angrily to the Pentagon report, said Thursday that the account warning of Beijing's growing military power distorted the truth and urged the United States to stop issuing the annual assessment or risk harming relations. "This report issued by the US side continues to play up the fallacy of the so-called China military threat," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told journalists in Beijing "This is a gross distortion of the facts... and China resolutely opposes it." Qin also said the US should stop issuing the annual report and cease "making groundless accusations against China so as not to further damage the two sides' military relations." He said Beijing had complained to Washington about it, and urged the US to "drop the Cold War thinking... to prevent further damage to the relationship between the two countries and two armies". The Pentagon said in its yearly report to Congress on China's military that its pursuit of sophisticated weaponry was altering Asia's military balance and could be used to enforce Beijing's claims over disputed territories. China has kept up major investment in its armed forces and made advances in high-tech weaponry that outpace other countries in the region, the defence department said in the report issued Wednesday. It said China was developing technologies for nuclear, space and cyber warfare that were "changing regional military balances and that have implications beyond the Asia-Pacific region." The build-up could allow China to "project power to ensure access to resources or enforce claims to disputed territories," the report said. Apart from its traditional focus on deterring Taiwan's independence, China was raising its capacity to carry out extended air operations in the South China Sea, it said. China claims sovereignty over the Spratly and Paracel island groups that are also claimed by Brunei, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Taiwan. Defence ties between Washington and Beijing have been strained since China last year cut off all military exchanges amid anger over a planned US sale of weapons to Taiwan. The two sides last month did resolve to resume contacts. Earlier this month, China accused the US of spying off southern Hainan island after a stand-off in which Washington said Chinese vessels harassed a US surveillance ship designed to track submarines. The US, Japan and other countries regularly express concern over China's military build-up, saying Beijing has not been transparent about its intentions. Qin said "solemn representations" had been made to the US, and reiterated China's position that its military development is peaceful in nature and aimed solely at defending the country's territory. "We urged the US side to respect this basic fact," he said. The reaction from the Foreign Ministry came after it expressed "strong dissatisfaction" in a statement late Tuesday over a resolution by US lawmakers pledging defence of Taiwan, the self-ruled island claimed by China.