China accused NATO of slander on Tuesday and warned the alliance to “stop exaggerating” the threat it poses after the summit statement took a hard stance on Beijing.
The spokesperson for the Chinese mission to the European Union accused NATO of a “cold war mentality” in a statement posted on its website, and said it “slanders the peaceful development of the country. China and misjudges the international situation and its own role ”.
The spokesman said that China would “stand idly by if the ‘systemic challenges’ draw closer to us.”
The NATO statement, released Monday at President Joe Biden’s first summit in Brussels, said China’s ambitions and assertive behavior presented “systemic challenges to the rules-based international order” and to ‘other areas relevant to the alliance.
He noted that China was expanding its nuclear arsenal and military cooperation with Russia. The statement also said it was concerned about “China’s frequent lack of transparency and the use of disinformation.”
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, formed 72 years ago, is an alliance of 30 European and North American countries formed after World War II to provide collective security for the Soviet Union.
Biden urged world leaders on his trip to Europe to increase their pressure on China. He brought China and Russia together at a summit press conference, saying the two countries “seek to drive a wedge in our transatlantic solidarity.”
He also noted the alliance’s pivot to China, saying it was not even mentioned in NATO’s last strategic plan drawn up in 2010.
The NATO statement comes just after world leaders at the Group of Seven summit in the UK on Sunday called on Beijing to respect human rights in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, and stressed the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. Hong Kong and Taiwan are sensitive issues for Beijing. China views Taiwan as an inseparable part of its sovereign territory and has tightened its grip on Hong Kong over the past year.
A spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in London on Monday criticized the G-7’s statement and called for it “to stop interfering in our internal affairs, stop harming our interests and do more. to promote international cooperation, ”in a statement posted on the embassy’s website. .
It was a line similar to that taken by the official China Daily newspaper, which criticized NATO’s statement, saying the alliance needed an “imaginary enemy” to justify its existence.
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“China, as the world’s second-largest economy, is never easy prey for a wolf. He is capable and determined to counter any threat or extortion and those who dream of disintegrating China from within should give up sooner, ”the newspaper op-ed read.
In their statement, NATO leaders also called on Russia and declared that its “aggressive actions constitute a threat to Euro-Atlantic security”. He mentioned Russia’s war games near the borders of NATO countries as well as the repeated violation of the airspace of NATO countries by Russian planes.
He accused Russia of “hybrid” actions against NATO countries by attempting to interfere in elections, political and economic intimidation, disinformation campaigns and “malicious cyber activities”.
“Until Russia demonstrates respect for international law and its international obligations and responsibilities, there can be no return to ‘business as usual’,” NATO leaders wrote. “We will continue to respond to the deteriorating security environment by strengthening our deterrence and defense. posture. “
Biden will hold his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on Wednesday. He said on Monday that he would make it clear that there are areas in which the United States and Russia can cooperate, and that the United States will respond if Putin chooses not to cooperate.
In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Putin reiterated the call for the United States and Russia to join forces to fight cybercrime, and said Russia was interested in working with the United States in the space.