China Blames NATO for ‘Creating Conflicts, Waging Wars’
Story Code : 1003244
“The history of NATO is one about creating conflicts and waging wars. . ., arbitrarily launching wars and killing innocent civilians, even to this day,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters on Wednesday. “Facts have proven that it isn’t China that poses a systemic challenge to NATO, and instead it is NATO that brings a looming systemic challenge to world peace and security.”
Zhao made his comments one week after NATO, for the first time, singled China out as a strategic priority and a “challenge” to Western interests.
“China is substantially building up its military forces, including nuclear weapons, bullying its neighbors, threatening Taiwan ... monitoring and controlling its own citizens through advanced technology, and spreading Russian lies and disinformation,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said last Wednesday.
Tensions between NATO and China have escalated since Russia launched its military offensive against Ukraine in February. Beijing, which has declined to join in the US-led campaign to punish and isolate Russia over the conflict, has suggested that NATO provoked the crisis.
At last week’s NATO summit in Spain, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused China of “seeking to undermine the rules-based international order.”
Zhao responded on Wednesday by saying the “so-called rules-based international order is actually a family rule made by a handful of countries to serve the US self-interest.”
The US “observes international rules only as it sees fit,” he added, and it has sought through NATO to “hype up competition with China and stoke group confrontation.”
The latest back-and-forth between Washington and Beijing comes just days before Blinken is scheduled to meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The two chief envoys are slated to talk on Saturday when foreign ministers gather at the G20 summit in Indonesia.