In what could be described as a stern warning, a high-ranking Chinese envoy told the NATO chief that the transatlantic alliance should stay out of the Indo-Pacific region.
During a phone call with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said: â€œIn recent years, some NATO members have sent ships and planes close to China. NATO should maintain its original geographic position and play a constructive role in ensuring peaceful and stable regional development. ”
In recent years, NATO has been closely monitoring China’s actions after the country declared itself a “near-Arctic” power. Beijing has also partnered with Russia, which brought Chinese warships to the Baltic Sea in 2017.
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A NATO statement on the appeal states: “The Secretary General reminded that NATO does not see China as an adversary, but urged China to adhere to its international obligations and to act responsibly in the international system.”
“He expressed NATO’s concern over China’s coercive policies, the expansion of the nuclear arsenal and the lack of transparency in its military modernization,” it said.
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The Chinese Foreign Minister said, “The two sides should look at each other rationally and objectively, rather than just listening to and believing in misinformation and being confused by lies and rumors. China was and will not be an opponent of NATO. ”
(With contributions from agencies)