China lashed out on Thursday at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) after the publication of a document that presents it as a threat, and accused the military alliance of “having blood on their hands.”
The Atlantic Alliance, in its document entitled “strategic concept” and which had not been reviewed since 2010, assured on Wednesday during its summit in Madrid that China represents a “challenge” for the “interests” and “security” of the countries of NATO.
“China’s declared ambitions and coercive policies challenge our interests, our security and our values,” explains NATO in this document.
It is the first time that this text refers to China, which was not traditionally the responsibility of the Atlantic Alliance mission.
Proof that there are growing concerns about China was the attendance at this summit, for the first time, by leaders from Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
“China is not an adversary,” insisted NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, however.
As expected, this document was poorly received by Beijing.
“This so-called NATO Strategic Concept document ignores reality and presents the facts backwards. It is bent on smearing China’s foreign policy,” said Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry.
“It is wrongly stubborn in presenting China as a systemic challenge,” the spokesman said, expressing China’s “strong opposition” to the NATO document.
NATO denounces in particular “the tightening of the strategic alliance” between Beijing and Moscow and “their attempts to destabilize the rules-based international order.”
Western powers have repeatedly warned Beijing against any support for Russia in its war against Ukraine, which China has not condemned.
In turn, China has regularly denounced NATO as a hostile military organization, serving Washington’s interests.
“China is not at all the systemic challenge that NATO imagines. In reality, it is NATO that constitutes a real systemic challenge to world peace and stability,” spokesman Zhao Lijian said Thursday.
“NATO aims to be a regional organization and defensive in nature. In fact, it does not stop expanding beyond its regional limits and its powers, provoking wars and killing innocent civilians,” he added.
“NATO’s hands are stained with the blood of the peoples of the world” he stressed, referring to the Alliance’s interventions in Afghanistan, in Libya or the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Serbia in 1999.
This latest event, which led to the deaths of three Chinese journalists, has lastingly tarnished NATO’s reputation in the Asian country.