UPDATE - China asks NATO ‘not to sow chaos’ in Asia-Pacific

UPDATE - China asks NATO ‘not to sow chaos’ in Asia-Pacific

Beijing also rejects NATO’s assertion on China-Russia relations

UPDATES WITH MORE COMMENTS FROM CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY, MORE DETAILS; CHANGES HEADER, DECK, EDITS THROUGHOUT

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ISTANBUL (AA) – Defending its relations with Russia, China on Wednesday asked NATO not to expand to Asia-Pacific and avoid “sowing seeds of chaos” in the region.

Beijing also rejected the NATO summit declaration that relations between Beijing and Moscow “threatened the rule-based international order.”

“We urge NATO to stop making groundless accusations and provocative rhetoric targeting China, quit the outdated Cold War mentality, ditch the wrongdoing of seeking absolute security,” said Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry.

Wang told reporters in Beijing: “We have seen what NATO has done to Europe, and NATO must not seek to sow chaos here in the Asia-Pacific or elsewhere in the world.”

NATO hosted leaders of Asia-Pacific partners from Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, and Japan – known as AP4 of NATO – at its Vilnius, Lithuania, summit.

There are reports that NATO and Japan are also discussing plans to open the military alliance’s first office in Japan though France is said to have been opposing the move.

On Beijing’s relations with Moscow, Wang said the China-Russia relationship “is built on the basis of no-alliance, no-confrontation, and no-targeting of any third party.”

“It rises above the model of military and political alliance in the Cold War era and provides a model for major-country relations. This is fundamentally different from the exclusive groupings and bloc confrontation practiced by some NATO countries,” said Wang, according to a transcript of his news briefing.

On Tuesday, a joint statement issued after day one of the NATO leaders’ summit in Vilnius, said: “The deepening strategic partnership between the PRC (People’s Republic of China) and Russia and their mutually reinforcing attempts to undercut the rules-based international order run counter to our values and interests.”

The statement called on China to play a “constructive role” as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and to condemn Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Reacting to NATO’s joint statement, a spokesman for the Chinese Mission to the EU said Tuesday night: "China also firmly opposes NATO's eastward expansion."

It said Beijing will "firmly defend its sovereignty, security, and development interests and strongly oppose NATO's eastward expansion into the Asia-Pacific."

*Aamir Latif contributed to this report from Pakistan


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