China has warned the west to stay out of Asia after a Nato security conference issued a list of four military “hot spots” spanning the region.
China’s foreign ministry said it hoped Nato would “correct its erroneous track” after a delegation led by Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, met the leaders of South Korea, Japan, India and the US last week.
Nato identifies four hotspots as global threat level hits ‘high alert’ Read more
During a hastily arranged meeting in Brussels, they warned China’s increasing assertiveness and North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons were two of the biggest risks to security in the region.
Among the four security risks identified by Nato was “China’s military and military infrastructure buildup in the East and South China Seas and its intentions to use force against other countries in accordance with its interpretation of its sovereignty claims”.
China warned that alliances and security conferences were not the “best method” to solve security issues, adding that “the whole world needs to know that China supports an open multilateral and inclusive world order and the peaceful rise of China”.
Tensions have been rising over China’s reclamation of a growing number of disputed islands in the South China Sea and Beijing’s installation of surface-to-air missiles and radar systems in at least one of the island territories, the Paracel and Spratly island chains.
China says its continued actions are to protect the basic rights of its fishermen and to defend its economic interests but many countries in the region view the activity as a security threat.
China has said such actions would be more favourable in the event of an “actual war”.