Beijing Envoys Irked Over NATO's Tagging China As 'Systematic Challenge'
China's senior envoy in South Korea reacted angrily Thursday, June 30, 2022, to NATO's classification of his country as a "systemic challenge," and urged the military alliance to halt "provocative speech and acts," according to Kim Eun-jung and Song Sang-ho of Yonhap News Agency.
Photo Insert: "I advise NATO to stop spreading false facts against China and stop provocative speech and acts, and to not soil Asia and the whole world," Ambassador Xing Haiming said.
Ambassador Xing Haiming made the statements a day after NATO adopted its strategic concept, which described China as posing "systemic challenges to Euro-Atlantic security," marking the alliance's first official identification of China as a key threat.
The notion was adopted at a high-profile NATO summit in Madrid, where the leaders of South Korea, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand were all present as partners, indicating NATO's intention to broaden its reach into the Indo-Pacific area.
"I advise NATO to stop spreading false facts against China and stop provocative speech and acts, and to not soil Asia and the whole world," Xing said in Chinese at a symposium commemorating three decades of diplomatic relations between Seoul and Beijing.
"The NATO summit called China a systemic challenge, and I sternly oppose it," Xing added, calling NATO a "byproduct of the Cold War. The envoy accuses NATO of creating hypothetical adversaries and fomenting bloc-based confrontation.
Xing referred to NATO's 1999 bombing of the Chinese embassy in then-Yugoslavia, saying the Western alliance "has yet to pay off its debt" for the incident, which killed three Chinese journalists and enraged the Chinese populace.
The envoy also urged South Korea to act as a "lubricant" in relations between the US and China, words that took on geopolitical overtones as the Yoon Suk-yeol administration moved to strengthen ties with Washington.
"We hope that South Korea establishes desirable bilateral relations with the US and China from the standpoint of constructive, long-term interests," he said.