Beijing slams NATO over ‘completely futile’ China warning

BEIJING: Beijing on Thursday (Jun 30) slammed NATO over a “completely futile” warning in which the group said for the first time in a guiding blueprint that China’s power challenges the military alliance.

The response came after NATO’s strategic concept, published at a summit in Madrid, said Beijing’s stated ambitions and coercive policies challenged its interests, security and values.

NATO also said that China’s closer ties to Russia went against Western interests, drawing a fiery response from Beijing.

“NATO’s so-called new strategic concept document disregards facts, confuses black and white … (and) smears China’s foreign policy,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a regular briefing Thursday.

He added that China “firmly opposes it”.

“We would like to warn NATO that hyping up the so-called China threat is completely futile,” Zhao told reporters.

Leading NATO power the United States has pushed for the alliance to pay greater attention to China, despite reluctance from some allies to switch attention away from its focus on Europe.

Beijing has refused to condemn its ally Russia over the invasion of Ukraine, and the two countries have drawn closer in the political, trade and military spheres as part of a “no limits” relationship.

This month, Chinese President Xi Jinping assured his counterpart Vladimir Putin of China’s support on Russian “sovereignty and security”.

Beijing has also been accused of providing diplomatic cover for Russia by criticising Western sanctions and arms sales to Kyiv.

In a sign of growing concern about China, leaders of regional partners Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand also attended a NATO summit for the first time.