After leaders of the western alliance warned that China poses “systemic challenges” to international order and security, China’s ambassador to the EU accused Nato of defamation and of “hyping up the so-called “China danger.”
Spokesperson of China's mission to the EU accuses NATO of a “Cold War mentality” in a statement, saying that it is “slandering China’s peaceful development and misjudging the international situation and its own role.” https://t.co/OTi9l96Cm3
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 15, 2021
The United States and European leaders are using NATO to their advantage
Leaders of the transatlantic security alliance took a tough stance against Beijing during a conference in Brussels on Monday, with Joe Biden in attendance for the first time.
The incoming US president has urged his fellow Nato leaders to confront China’s autocracy and expanding military might, signaling a shift in focus for an alliance formed to defend Europe from the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
China’s EU delegation retaliated on Tuesday, claiming that the declaration issued at the end of the one-day summit “slandered” China’s peaceful development, misread the international situation, and had a “cold war mindset” in a post on its website.
China urges Nato to take a logical approach to China’s development, to cease hyping up the so-called “China threat” in any form, and to stop using China’s legitimate interests and rights to manipulate bloc politics, create tension, and fuel geopolitical competition.
It stated that China is always dedicated to peaceful development. We will not present anyone with a “systemic issue,” but we will not remain silent if “systemic difficulties” approach us.
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According to the mission, China is committed to a “defensive in nature” defense policy, and its pursuit of military modernization is “justified, rational, open, and transparent.” It claimed to have significantly fewer nuclear weapons than Nato members, had pledged not to use or threaten to use them against non-nuclear states, and spent a lower percentage of GDP on defense than the Nato minimum.
The long statement was widely broadcast throughout official media in Chinese and English in response to the first-ever prominent reference of China in a Nato summit declaration.
US National Adviser threatens to Beijing
On Sunday night, US national security advisor Jake Sullivan promised that Nato will place a greater emphasis on Beijing, saying that it will “figure in the communique in a more forceful way than we’ve ever seen before.”
The G7 nations met in the United Kingdom over the weekend to condemn China’s human rights violations in Xinjiang, urge for Hong Kong’s autonomy to be preserved, and demand a complete inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus.
The Chinese embassy in London stated it was adamantly opposed to any discussion of Xinjiang, Hong Kong, or Taiwan, which it claimed misrepresented the facts and exposed the “sinister motives of a few countries, including the United States.”
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China is facing mounting international pressure over human rights violations against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and other parts of the country, a draconian intervention in Hong Kong’s semi-autonomy, and threats against Taiwan, which it considers a breakaway province that must be reclaimed, if necessary by force.
The G7 urged China to “respect human rights and basic freedoms, particularly in reference to Xinjiang, as well as those rights, freedoms, and a high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong entrenched in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.” It also emphasized the significance of “peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” as well as “peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues.”