China believes NATO should have been dissolved after the USSR, which it was created to contain, no longer existed, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said. Instead, it expanded and cornered Russia, triggering bloodshed in Ukraine, Zhao said.
“As a product of the Cold War, NATO should have become history when the Soviet Union disintegrated,” he said during a daily press conference on Friday, when asked about remarks on NATO’s role as a US geopolitical tool made by his Russian counterpart, Maria Zakharova.
Zhao said that NATO expanded eastwards in Europe for decades, in violation of promises made to the Soviet leadership. This pushed Russia “into a corner step by step,” so ultimately, NATO was “the initiator and biggest promoter of the Ukraine crisis” on behalf of the US, he stated, adding that the organization should reflect on what its contribution to European security is.
Moscow cited the threat posed by NATO’s creeping expansion into Ukraine as a key reason why it attacked the country in late February. Beijing agreed with the justification, even as it criticized the use of military force as the method of resolving the situation.