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Foreign Ministry rebuts allegations by NATO chief

By Wang Qingyun | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-11-24 07:29

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg attends a news conference during a NATO summit in Madrid, Spain June 29, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

Those who "draw lines" based on ideology in the fields of economic and trade cooperation will shoot themselves in the foot and undermine the common interests of the international community, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Wednesday.

Zhao made the remark at a daily news conference, responding to recent allegations made by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

During a visit to Spain, Stoltenberg claimed on Monday that there are "growing Chinese efforts to control our critical infrastructure, supply chains and key industrial sectors", according to a Reuters report.

Zhao pointed out that the formation and development of global supply chains are a result of market rules and choices made by companies, adding that China has conducted effective and equitable cooperation with countries across different regions in recent years, including NATO member countries, and this cooperation has proved to be mutually beneficial.

However, Zhao said that "since the end of the Cold War, NATO has reached its tentacles of expansion wider and wider". The organization has "taken the liberty to include in its collective defense the affairs of cyberspace and outer space, which should have been managed by the United Nations and specialized international organizations", he added.

It has also "strengthened its interference in a wide range of civil affairs, such as climate change, infrastructure, technological innovation, supply chains, health and energy," Zhao added.

As a regional organization, NATO should adhere strictly to its geographical scope, and avoid trying to act beyond its remit or authority, he said.

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