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China doubles down on NATO expansion

China’s mission to the EU has explained why Beijing endorsed Moscow’s call for NATO expansion to be curbed. The statement came as part of a response to the US-led military bloc’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who had accused Beijing of “denying sovereign nations the right to make their own choices.”

“NATO is a Cold War remnant,” which for some reason continues to grow despite the Cold War ending three decades ago, the mission’s spokesperson pointed out on Tuesday.

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This approach taken by the US-led military bloc is “not conducive to global security and stability,” he said.

“China believes that regional security should not be guaranteed by strengthening or expanding military blocs.”

According to Beijing, NATO should “abandon the Cold War mentality and ideological bias,” while focusing on doing “more to increase mutual trust” instead.

Its continued attempts to expand go against the sovereignty of nations, their plans of peaceful development, as well as their history and culture, the spokesperson added.

The remarks basically reiterated the main points made in a joint statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping last week.

Stoltenberg addressed the move by Putin and Xi on Monday, saying that “for the first time China joins Russia in calling on NATO to stop admitting new members.” According to to the block’s secretary general, this was “an attempt to deny sovereign nations the right to make their own choices” by Moscow and Beijing.

Russia has demanded that the US provide written security guarantees that NATO won’t expand into Ukraine and Georgia, which Moscow would see as a major threat to its national security.

The call was made in mid-December last year amid mounting tensions over Ukraine and claims by Washington that Russia is about to “invade” the neighboring country. Moscow has been denying such speculation as “fake news” and groundless attempts to stir “hysteria.” Two months later, no Russian invasion has taken place.

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