CHINA NATO report on China's rise a threat is baseless, false: National Defense Ministry

CHINA

NATO report on China's rise a threat is baseless, false: National Defense Ministry

By Zhang Zhihao | chinadaily.com.cn

20:47, December 31, 2020

This bird eye view shows the coral reefs in China's Xisha Islands, South China Sea, June 1, 2011. (Photo: Xinhua)

The South China Sea should not become a warship-roaming battleground for big power competitions, Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, a spokesman of the Ministry of National Defense, said in a news briefing on Thursday.

Tan made the remark in response to a report published by NATO this month claiming China's rise can threaten NATO. The UK's Royal Navy also announced that its new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, and its strike group will patrol the South China Sea in 2021.

"We resolutely oppose the baseless speculation and false accusation against China in the report," Tan said. "China upholds a defense policy that is defensive in nature, and maintains a shared, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security view."

"China's defense build-up and development has always been an addition to the global force for peace. The Chinese military has always been an adamant supporter of world peace and stability," he said.

"We hope various parties can correct their prejudice and have a rational view of China and China's military development," he said. "We believe the South China Sea should not become a battleground for big power competition, or a sea full of roaming warships."

With the joint effort of China and ASEAN countries, the situation in the South China Sea is generally stable, Tan said. Some foreign countries sending their warships thousands of kilometers from home to flex muscle and cause trouble in the region is the fundamental reason behind the "militarization" of the South China Sea, he said.

"The Chinese military will take necessary measures to protect national sovereignty, security, and its developmental interests, as well as safeguard peace and stability in the region," he said.

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