Saying The military alliance “has been expanding its reach since the end of the Cold War, ” said China on Wednesday urging NATO not to “exceed” its geographical limits.
“As a regional organization, NATO needs to stay within its geographical parameters and not attempt to impose rules that suit itself or seek to push or even cross the boundary,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a news conference in Beijing.
He accused NATO of increasing “intervention across a full range of civil domains including climate change, infrastructure, technological innovation, supply chains, health and energy,” according to a transcript of the news briefing posted on the ministry’s website.
“NATO has extended its collective defence clause to the domains of cyberspace and outer space, which should be handled by the UN and specialized international institutions,” the Chinese official added.
Zhao was responding to comments made by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the 68th Annual Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NPA) in Spain on Monday.
“(NATO) allies are now diversifying their supplies…This is good for our security… But we need to be careful not to create new dependencies. Most notably on China,” Stoltenberg had said.
“Resilience, the protection of our societies, our infrastructure, is now very high on the NATO agenda,” said Stoltenberg, referring to the military alliance’s new Strategic Concept unveiled at the NATO summit in Madrid early this year in June.
“China was not mentioned with a single word. In the current strategic concept, the challenges that China poses to our security, to our values, to our interest, is addressed. And part of that also is to be aware of how China’s coming closer and trying also to control critical parts of our societies,” he said.
However, Zhao said the development of the global industrial supply chain is “result of both the law of the market and the choices of businesses.”
“In recent years, China has had sound and equal-footed cooperation in relevant fields with companies and countries across different regions, including those in NATO, which has greatly benefited people on both sides.
“Bringing ideological difference into economic and trade cooperation and drawing lines based on values does not serve the common interests of international community, and will only backfire,” Zhao warned.