Beijing: NATO warnings on China-Russia arctic alliance 'irresponsible'
China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson said NATO's criticism is responsible for perpetuating a Cold War mentality and urged them to abandon "dangerous thinking".
NATO's 'irresponsible' criticism of the Russian-Chinese partnership in the Arctic shows Alliance efforts to perpetuate the Cold War mentality, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Wednesday.
On August 25, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the Russian-Chinese cooperation in the region did not meet alliance interests and urged the organization to boost its presence there.
"NATO irresponsibly stated that the cooperation between Russia and China challenges the value system and interests of the alliance, which once again exposes NATO's efforts to export the Cold War mentality and recreate bloc confrontation," Zhao noted.
According to Zhao, NATO should immediately abandon "dangerous thinking", causing confusion in the world. The spokesperson added that China respects the sovereignty of the Arctic states as well as their sovereign rights and jurisdiction in the region, adhering to the principles of international law.
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Last Thursday, Stoltenberg wrote in the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail that Moscow "has significantly increased its military activity in recent years" in the region and that China is also expanding in the region, calling itself a "near-Arctic state" and planning to create a "Polar Silk Road" that links it to Europe through the Arctic.
At the same time, Stoltenberg said that when Finland and Sweden join NATO, "seven out of eight Arctic nations will be NATO members."
A day later, it was reported that the US announced its plan to establish a position of Arctic ambassador to boost diplomatic efforts. State Department Spokesperson Vedant Patel said that "An Arctic region that is peaceful, stable, prosperous and cooperative is of critical strategic importance to the United States and a priority for Secretary Blinken"
Russia's Ambassador-at-Large for Arctic Cooperation has previously commented on the matter saying that the arctic region was starting to become an international theater of military operations and that "the policy of non-alignment to military alliances, the traditional policy of Sweden and Finland, has long provided a solid basis for maintaining peace and stability in polar latitudes. The possible accession of these countries to NATO is unlikely to contribute to this goal."
On Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to Stoltenberg's comments, saying that the Arctic is an area of Russian economic activity and Moscow's cooperation with China in the region poses no threat to any other country or organization.
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