China urges NATO to stop exaggerating 'China threat theory'
BEIJING (Reuters) - China's mission to the European Union on Tuesday called on NATO to end the exaggeration of "Chinese threat theory" after group leaders warned the country posed "systemic challenges".
The NATO leaders took a firm stance towards Beijing in a communique on Monday at the first summit between US President Joe Biden and the Alliance.
"China's declared ambition and assertive behavior represent systemic challenges for the rules-based international order and areas relevant to the security of alliances," the NATO leaders had declared.
The new US president has urged fellow NATO leaders to oppose China's authoritarianism and growing military power, a shift in focus for an alliance formed during the Cold War to defend Europe against the Soviet Union.
The NATO statement "slandered" China's peaceful development, misjudged the international situation and displayed a "Cold War mentality," according to China's response posted on the mission's website.
China is always committed to peaceful development, it said.
"We will not pose a 'systemic challenge' to anyone, but if someone wants to pose a 'systemic challenge' to us, we will not remain indifferent."
The G7 nations that met in the UK over the weekend scolded China about human rights in its Xinjiang region, urged Hong Kong to maintain a high level of autonomy and called for a full investigation into the origins of the coronavirus in China.
China's embassy in London said it was firmly against mentions of Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan, which skew the facts and expose the "dire intentions of some countries like the United States."
(Reporting by Gabriel Crossley and Beijing Newsroom; writing by Ben Blanchard; editing by Jacqueline Wong and Raju Gopalakrishnan)
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