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China denounces NATO statement, defends defense policy

The Chinese mission to the European Union on Tuesday denounced a NATO statement that declared Beijing a “security challenge,” saying China is actually a force for peace but will defend itself if threatened.

The Chinese news release said the NATO statement was a “slander on China’s peaceful development, a misjudgment of the international situation and (NATO’s) own role, and a continuation of the Cold War mentality and organizational political psychology.”

NATO allies joined the United States on Monday in formally scolding Beijing as a “constant security challenge.”

Washington has singled out China as a particular threat, especially in the South China Sea, where it has built and militarized artificial islands, as well as over its attempts to intimidate self-governing Taiwan, which it claims as its own territory to be annexed by military force if necessary.

The Chinese mission said Beijing’s spending on its military is considerably less than that of NATO members and it accused the organization of conjuring up a military threat from China in order to justify its own agenda.

China will “never give up the right to maintain peace but unswervingly defend our sovereignty, security and development interests,” the mission.

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