Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian touted China’s growing ties with Russia Tuesday, telling reporters that despite concerns from western nations they are an “important force for stability in a turbulent world.”
The spokesman’s comments come just one day after NATO leaders took a hardline stance against China, warning against the “systemic challenges” they pose “to the rules-based international order.”
“It is fair to say that the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for the new era is all-dimensional and all-weather,” Zhao said Tuesday. “Sky is the limit for down-to-earth China-Russia cooperation.”
President Biden urged fellow NATO leaders to stand against attempts by China and Russia to break the alliance between Northern American nations and Europe.
“Russia and China are both seeking to drive a wedge in our transatlantic solidarity,” Biden said.
U.S. ties between Russia and China have become increasingly strained following the spike in Russia-based cybercrimes and human rights violations by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
NATO’s united stance against Russia and China would mean a position change from its previous role in uniting politically and militarily against security threats traditionally posed by Russia.
“If you look at the cyber threats and the hybrid threats, if you look at the cooperation between Russia and China, you cannot simply ignore China,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, according to Reuters. “But one must not overrate it, either – we need to find the right balance.”
Zhao said China is not a “systematic rival” of Europe and accused the U.S. of pushing anti-China policies.
“Any attempt to undermine China-Russia relations is doomed to fail,” he said. “We hope they will not go further down the path of zero-sum game and political confrontation of blocs.”
The G-7 nations, including the U.S., U.K., France, Canada, Japan, Italy, and Germany, met over the weekend and similarly condemned China for abuses relating to Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
“I don’t think anybody around the table wants to descend into a new Cold War with China,” U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.
But Chinese officials condemned the remarks made at the G-7 summit and said they were “deliberately slandering China.”
“Countries should not seek bloc politics on the basis of the interests of small cliques, suppress different development models by holding ideology as the yardstick, and still less confuse right with wrong and shift blames onto others,” Zhao said Tuesday. “The US is ill and it’s bad.”
Biden is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin Wednesday.