Beijing on Thursday slammed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) over a “completely futile” warning in which the group said for the first time in a guiding blueprint that China’s power challenges the military alliance.
The response came after NATO’s strategic concept, published at a summit in Madrid, said Beijing’s stated ambitions and coercive policies challenged its interests, security, and values.
NATO also said that China’s closer ties to Russia went against Western interests, drawing a fiery response from Beijing.
“NATO’s so-called new strategic concept document disregards facts, confuses black and white… (and) smears China’s foreign policy,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a regular briefing Thursday.
He added that China “firmly opposes it.”
“We would like to warn NATO that hyping up the so-called China threat is completely futile,” Zhao told reporters.
Leading NATO power the United States has pushed for the alliance to pay greater attention to China, despite reluctance from some allies to switch attention away from its focus on Europe.
Beijing has refused to condemn its ally Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
NATO, whose guiding document was updated for the first time since 2010, also accused China of targeting its members with “malicious hybrid and cyber operations and its confrontational rhetoric.”
But Zhao hit back, saying that China did not pose “the systemic challenge imagined.”
He said it was NATO that is a “systemic challenge to world peace and stability” and its “hands are stained with the blood of the world’s people.” — Agence France-Presse