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China urges NATO to view China's development in rational manner

PLA Daily

Source: China Military Online
Editor: Li Wei

2021-06-15 17:22:33

BEIJING, June 15 -- A spokesperson for the Chinese Mission to the European Union (EU) on June 15 urged the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to view China's development in a rational manner and stop hyping up the so called "China threat" in any form.

The spokesperson made such remarks in response to a question regarding the communiqué issued by leaders of NATO members after the summit in Brussels on June 14, in which NATO claims China has presented "systemic challenges" to the rules-based international order and to areas relevant to NATO security, and also mentions issues including China's "coercive policies", rapidly expanding nuclear arsenal and "opaque" military modernization.

NATO's claim on the so-called "systemic challenges" posed by China is a slander of China's peaceful development and a misjudgment of the international situation and its own role, which represents a continuation of the Cold War mentality and bloc politics, said the spokesperson.

"China unwaveringly upholds a defense policy that's defensive in nature. Our pursuit of defense and military modernization is justified, reasonable, open and transparent."

The spokesperson pointed out that in 2021, China's national defense budget is RMB 1.35 trillion (about USD 209 billion), which accounts for just about 1.3% of its GDP, much lower than that of NATO. In comparison, the 30 NATO member states have an estimated total military expenditure of up to USD 1.17 trillion in 2021, accounting for more than half of the total across the world and 5.6 times that of China.

"The world sees clearly who has built military bases all over the world and whose aircraft carriers are flexing muscles everywhere," added the spokesperson.

As for the nuclear weapons, the spokesperson clearly stated that the number of China's nuclear weapons is by no means in the same league with NATO member states such as the United States. Statistics from think tanks in Sweden and the US show that NATO members have nearly 20 times as many nuclear warheads as China. China has always followed the principle of no-first-use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstance, and committed itself unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones.

The spokesperson stressed that China is committed to peaceful development, but will never forget the historical tragedy of the bombing of its embassy in Yugoslavia, leaving several Chinese dead and their families in unbearable pain.

"China will never give up our right to maintain peace and will firmly defend our sovereignty, security and development interests. We will closely watch NATO's strategic adjustment and its policy adjustment towards China. China will never pose 'systemic challenges' to anyone, neither will we sit idle if anyone dares to pose 'systemic challenges' to us."

The spokesperson sternly urged NATO to view China's development rationally, stop hyping all sorts of "China threat theories", and stop using China's legitimate interests and rights as the excuse to manipulate bloc politics, create confrontation and agitate geopolitical competition. NATO's energy should be better spent on promoting dialogue and cooperation and doing things conducive to maintaining international and regional security and stability.

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