• Sunday, May 26, 2024


China accuses NATO of exaggerating threat

China president Xi Jinping (Photo: Kevin Frayer via Getty Images)

By: Shilpa Sharma

CHINA has accused NATO of maligning its peaceful development and exaggerating the threat from the country after alliance leaders warned about “systemic challenges” coming from Beijing.

China’s increasingly assertive actions in building a nuclear arsenal, space and cyber warfare capabilities threatened the international order, NATO leaders said in statement after the a one-day summit in Brussels on Monday (14).

It was the first time NATO had placed China at the centre of its agenda.

In its response, China on Tuesday (15) said its defence policy was “defensive in nature” and urged NATO to “devote more of its energy to promoting dialogue”.

“Our pursuit of defence and military modernisation is justified, reasonable, open and transparent,” China’s mission to the European Union said in a statement.

NATO should view China’s development in a “rational manner” and “stop taking China’s legitimate interests and rights as an excuse to manipulate bloc politics, create confrontation and fuel geopolitical competition,” it added.

“We’re not entering a new cold war and China is not our adversary, not our enemy,” NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said, adding, “(but) We need to address together, as the alliance, the challenges that the rise of China poses to our security”.

NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 European and North American countries that implements the North Atlantic Treaty signed on 4 April 1949.

NATO has become increasingly concerned about the growing military capabilities of China that could pose a threat to the security and democratic values of its members.

The Chinese military currently has the largest armed forces in the world, with over two million personnel on active duty.

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