BEIJING – China resolutely opposes NATO’s “eastward movement into the Asia-Pacific region” and warned any action threatening Beijing’s rights would be met with a resolute response, the country’s mission to the European Union said in a statement.
The statement released late Tuesday said China rejects the China-related content in NATO’s joint communique from its summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, and will firmly safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interests.
“Any act that jeopardises China’s legitimate rights and interests will be met with a resolute response,” it said.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters at the summit on Tuesday that China was increasingly challenging the rules-based international order, and that alliance partners should continue to engage in dialogue with China.
Attendance from Asia-Pacific at the two-day summit includes leaders of Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
China said NATO ignored basic facts, wantonly distorted Beijing’s position and policies, and deliberately smeared China in its communique.
China also said NATO’s repeated declarations of being a “nuclear alliance” in its communiques will only further exacerbate tensions in the Asia-Pacific region, which China saw as a matter of deep concern.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who was joining NATO leaders for a second time, aimed to remind the military alliance to pay heed to East Asia risks, while South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol sought deeper international security cooperation amid rising North Korean threats and tension over China.