3rd June 2023 – (Beijing) China strongly criticised NATO and its secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, on Saturday for repeatedly describing China as a “threat.” In a statement, a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Norway said that China opposes NATO’s characterisation and urged the military alliance to take an “objective and rational” view of China’s development and foreign relations.
According to the statement, a spokesperson said that while NATO claims to be a defensive organization focused on the North Atlantic region, certain NATO members “constantly extend beyond traditional defense regions” and increase tensions by closely engaging with countries in Asia and the Pacific. The spokesperson said that China contributes to global stability and peace and urged NATO to stop “stirring up regional conflicts and creating divisions.”
The rebuke came in response to recent comments by Stoltenberg during a visit to Norway. Stoltenberg said on Friday that NATO allies “face security challenges from the south, with terrorism, and from the east, with a more assertive Russia, and also from the rise of China.” He added that China is “coming closer to us” in areas like cyber and hypersonic missiles.
China rejected NATO’s characterisation of it as a threat, saying instead that it is a force for international stability. However, China’s military modernisation, investments in emerging technologies like hypersonic weapons, and more assertive posture on global issues have led western nations to increasingly view China as a strategic competitor.