Reminding the alliance that it was NATO’s forces led by the US which bombed China’s embassy in Belgrade during the 1999 attack on Yugoslavia, Beijing blasted NATO on Thursday, dismissing its calls not to support Russia in any way.
Responding to remarks made by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, the spokesman for Beijing’s diplomatic mission to the EU stressed that China needs no lecture on justice from the abuser of international law, underscoring that Chinese people will never forget who had bombed their embassy in Yugoslavia.
China’s embassy in Belgrade was destroyed during the 1999 bombing NATO launched without the UN Security Council’s authorization after both Russia and China vetoed all attempts.
Pointing out that Chinese people can fully relate to the pains and sufferings of other countries, the diplomat branded NATO a Cold War remnant, suggesting it needs to do some self-reflection to examine if its expansion and military operations are contributing to the world peace and stability.
Speaking ahead of a NATO defense ministers’ emergency meeting on Tuesday, Stoltenberg suggested China should strongly condemn Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, noting that as a member of the UNSC it has an obligation to actually support and uphold international law.
Although China voiced its support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity, it also agreed with Moscow’s rationale that NATO’s expansion in Eastern Europe was clearly provocative and refused to impose sanctions – calling them illegal and damaging to the world economy – against Moscow, criticized at the same time the nations that did so.
Previously on Thursday, China’s Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng reiterated Chinese opposition to any form of unilateral sanctions that have no basis in international law, stressing that the US sanctions on Moscow will fail to solve any problems.
Beijing also vowed to defend itself should Washington target Chinese companies after the White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan warned there will be consequences should China help Russia bypass sanctions and backfill the hit sectors of the economy.