China accuses NATO of "provoking confrontation" after criticism over ties with Russia

China on Thursday urged NATO to stop "provoking confrontation" between the blocs. At a summit in Washington, NATO leaders sharply criticised China for supporting Russia's war against Ukraine, a first in the alliance's history.

NATO leaders at a summit in Washington on Wednesday expressed "deep concern" about the rapprochement between Russia and China. In the summit's final declaration, they denounced Beijing's support for Russia's war effort in Ukraine.

Through its partnership with Russia and extensive support for its defence industry, China has become a 'decisive enabler of Russia's war against Ukraine', the statement says. It also calls on Beijing to cease all material and political support for the Russian war effort.

While China is not supplying Russia with full weapons systems, it is providing Russia with resources to build missiles, bombs, planes and weapons it is using to attack Ukraine, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday. It is the first time that NATO's 32 members have unanimously called out China in an approved statement.

China denounces NATO

China on Thursday denounced the final declaration as "steeped in Cold War mentality and war rhetoric", a spokesman for the Chinese mission to the European Union said in a press release.

"NATO should stop worrying about a so-called Chinese threat, stop provoking confrontation and rivalry, and make more contribution to world peace and stability," the spokesman added. "We have never supplied lethal weapons to any of the parties to the conflict, and we strictly control the export of dual-use items, including civilian drones."

Cyber threats

On Wednesday, the alliance also decided to add a new centre in NATO's military headquarters (SHAPE) in Casteau near Mons, that will better protect the NATO from cyber threats.

The NATO Integrated Cyber Defence Centre (NICC) will "inform NATO military commanders of potential threats and vulnerabilities in cyberspace," NATO said in a press release. This includes critical civilian infrastructure needed to support military activities.

The centre will bring together civilian and military personnel from NATO, member states and industry experts, using advanced technology to raise the alliance's cyber awareness and enhance collective resilience and defence. Further details of the Centre's structure and functions will be developed in the coming months.



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