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China warned the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) that it won’t “sit back” after facing any challenges, illustrating the potential for tensions to escalate as the US tries to convince its allies to take a tougher approach towards China.

A statement posted on Tuesday on the website of China’s mission to the European Union said that Beijing doesn’t pose a “systemic challenge” to any countries and added that NATO should not exaggerate the military power of China.

Urging NATO to push forward with dialogue and cooperation, the statement said the bloc should work to safeguard regional and international stability. Beijing’s comments come after the Secretary-General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg said that China ‘doesn’t share values’ and he is concerned about the coercive policies of China which stand in contrast to the fundamental values enshrined in the Washington Treaty, on which the bloc rests.

This year, China was mentioned 10 times in the NATO meeting and Russia was named over 60 times. The statement further stated that the bloc “maintains a constructive dialogue with China where possible.” Washington sought to create a united front on Beijing, though President Joe Biden settled for a modest condemnation over the weekend, at the Group of Seven meetings.

Biden has pushed the group to confront China for human rights abuses and forced labor as well as on its Belt and Road Initiative infrastructure plan. He also raised the issue of China refusing outside access to its laboratories to determine the Covid-19 origin.

China was dismissive of the G-7 summit as it issued a statement with its London embassy, “The days when global decisions were dictated by a small group of countries are long gone.”


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