The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has issued a formal rejection of a NATO statement, which characterises Beijing as presenting “systemic challenges.” The PRC’s Foreign Ministry declared that the NATO statement represents “a continuation of the Cold War mentality and bloc politics.”
The Chinese embassy in the EU released a statement saying that China intends to pursue a “defensive defence policy” and that its military modernization is “justified, reasonable, open, and transparent.”
Since 2019, China has played a critical role in discussions related to NATO. NATO leaders released a statement in which they chastised China’s “assertive behaviour” and expressed their deep concerns over Beijing’s coercive policies, as reported by the South China Morning Post.
In June, a NATO-led coalition of 30 European and North American countries issued a joint statement labelling China a “systemic challenge.” The group vowed to confront China’s rise. The summit participants were especially concerned about China’s rapid nuclear arsenal expansion, as well as its military cooperation with Russia and its use of misinformation.
At the same time, the leaders of NATO say that China must honour its international commitments, as well as follow through on its responsibilities in the international system, including in space, cyber, and maritime domains, with respect to being a major power. The 79-point statement devotes three paragraphs and 10 mentions to China, according to South China Morning Post.
Following remarks by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, China affirmed its long-standing principle of not making the first use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones, and it made no threat to ever do so. Is NATO and its member states able to make the same pledge as China?” spoke on behalf of the corporation
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