Beijing envoy outraged over NATO calling China a ‘systemic challenge’


By Kim Eun-jung and Song Sang-ho

SEOUL, June 30 (Yonhap) — China’s top envoy to South Korea bristled on Thursday after the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) called his country a “systemic challenge.” and called on the military alliance to cease “provocative rhetoric and deed.”

Ambassador Xing Haiming made the remarks a day after NATO adopted its Strategic Concept which cited China as posing ‘systemic challenges to Euro-Atlantic security’ in the first public acknowledgment of Asian power as a threat major for the alliance.

The adoption of the concept came at a high-level NATO summit in Madrid, where the leaders of South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand were also present as partners, a sign of NATO’s decision to extend its reach to the Indo-Pacific region. .

“(I) advise NATO to stop spreading false facts against China and (stop) provocative speeches and acts, and not to smear Asia and the whole world,” Xing said in a statement. Chinese at a forum marking three decades since the establishment of diplomatic relations. between Seoul and Beijing.

Xing added, “The NATO summit called China a systemic challenge and (I) strongly oppose it.”

Calling NATO a “byproduct of the Cold War”, the ambassador accused the alliance of creating hypothetical adversaries and fomenting bloc-based confrontation.

Recalling the NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia in 1999, Xing said the Western alliance ‘has yet to repay its debt’ over the incident that killed three journalists Chinese and angered the Chinese public.

The envoy also called on South Korea to play a “lubricant” role in US-China relations – remarks that have taken on geopolitical overtones as the Yoon Suk-yeol administration prepares to deepen the alliance with Washington.

“(We) hope (South Korea) will establish desirable bilateral relations with the United States and China from the perspective of long-term constructive interests,” he said.

Ahead of Yoon’s attendance at this week’s NATO summit, the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a thinly veiled criticism, stressing its opposition to any move to “bring the military bloc to the Asia-Pacific and incite division and confrontation”.

In an attack on US foreign policy, Xing reiterated Beijing’s claim that America has tried to deter China and has often interfered in “internal affairs”.

“US policy towards China is full of paranoia,” he said.


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