Daily US Times: China has accused Nato of slandering its peaceful development after the leaders of the alliance warned about “systemic challenges” coming from Beijing.
The political and military alliance said China’s actions, including expanding its nuclear arsenal, threatened “rules-based international order”.
It was the first time Nato had placed China at the centre of its agenda.
China said in a response that its defence policy was “defensive in nature” and urged Nato to “devote more of its energy to promoting dialogue”.
China’s mission to the European Union said in a statement: “Our pursuit of defence and military modernisation is justified, reasonable, open and transparent.”
Nato should view China’s development in a “rational manner”, the statement added, and “stop taking China’s legitimate interests and rights as an excuse to manipulate bloc politics, create confrontation and fuel geopolitical competition”.
Nato’s statement came at the end of a one-day summit in the Nato HQ in Brussels on Monday.
It marked Joe Biden’s first Nato meeting as the president of the US.
The powerful military alliance between 30 European and North American countries sees Russia as a main threat. President Biden is due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on Wednesday.
According to the Nato summit’s communiqué (concluding statement), China’s “stated ambitions and assertive behaviour present systemic challenges to the rules-based international order and to areas relevant to Alliance security”.
The statement says: “We remain concerned with China’s frequent lack of transparency and use of disinformation.”
Jens Stoltenberg, the chief of the alliance, told reporters: “We’re not entering a new Cold War and China is not our adversary, not our enemy.”
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