According to Beijing, China is committed to global peace and security, not intimidation or coercion.
China has announced that it will continue its dialogue with NATO after the 30-member European and North American security bloc found it posed a growing threat alongside Russia.
NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, has included China in a detailed report on recommendations for internal reforms due to be released later Tuesday.
The content was hinted at by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in a speech on Monday before a meeting of NATO foreign ministers.
“China is not our opponent. Your advancement presents an important opportunity for our economy and our trade. We have to deal with China on issues like arms control and climate change. But there are also important challenges to our security, ”Stoltenberg said, adding that the challenges include China’s huge defense spending and the global impact it has achieved through strategic infrastructure investments around the world under its Belt and Road initiative.
On Tuesday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said Beijing was committed to global peace and security, not intimidation or coercion, preliminary information in the report suggests.
He added that China was a victim of forced diplomacy and that its military spending per capita was lower than many other countries.
“The common values of all humanity that China stands for and adheres to are peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom. I do not know whether these six words can also be recognized by NATO member states. Is that a value we should stick together? “Said Hua.
China has made forays into Europe with mixed success.
In 2012, cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries was initiated – a combination of NATO and non-NATO countries.
However, critics say that many of the bloc’s promises to counter NATO’s influence have been limited.
“In recent years, the US has been pushing for China to be placed higher on the NATO agenda,” said Ivana Karaskova, founder of the Czech Republic-based China Observers in Central and Eastern Europe.
“The other allies were reluctant to do so, however,” she added, aside from cybersecurity and the South China Sea.
“The inclusion of China in the report shows a significant change in this perception, even though the report by no means declares China an opponent.”
However, according to Mathieu Duchatel, director of the Asia program at Institut Montaigne, NATO is unlikely to be patrolling the strait anytime soon.
Instead, the 2030 initiative will likely address various security concerns.
“I think that much of the work in China will be inward-looking, with a particular focus on sharing information on China’s influencing activities and military modernization. Given China’s challenge, this also means allocating resources to respond to China’s military strengths such as space and the cyber world. “