Extracts from Foreign Ministry Spokesperson’s Regular Press Conference
Reuters: NATO summit was held in Brussels and released a communiqué saying that China poses “systemic challenges” to the international order and to areas relevant to the alliance’s security. Do you have any comment?
Zhao Lijian: There is only one system and one order in the world. That is, the international system with the UN at its core and the international order based on international law. It runs counter to the historical trend of peace, development and cooperation to form small cliques, pursue bloc politics and force other countries to choose sides between different ideologies. Such attempt will never be supported by the people, nor will it succeed.
NATO urges its member states to increase their military spending to at least 2% of GDP, while criticizing China’s normal defense development and military modernization. This is typical double standards. In fact, China’s defense accounts for about 1.3% of its GDP, much lower than the standard of NATO countries. China’s per capita military spending is below the global average and less than one-fifth of NATO’s.
NATO has a long history of poor records. It is up to its neck in debt morally, and has brought wars and instability to the world for many times. The international community will not forget the 78 days of indiscriminate bombing of Yugoslavia by NATO without the approval of the UN. The US, the UK and other NATO countries used a test tube of laundry powder and staged video as “evidence” to wage wars on sovereign states of Iraq and Syria. The Chinese people will never forget the historical tragedy of the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia. This is a debt of blood that NATO owes to the Chinese people. China does not pose “systemic challenges” to anyone and will firmly safeguard our sovereignty, security and development interests.