Published: 21:20, May 12, 2023 | Updated: 21:20, May 12, 2023
China cautions against potential NATO office in Japan
By Xinhua

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks on the sidelines of an in-person Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting at Ramstein Air Base, southwestern Germany, on April 21, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)

BEIJING — The Asia-Pacific lies beyond the geographical scope of the North Atlantic and has no need for a replica of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Friday.

Wang made the comment at a regular news briefing in response to reports that Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed respectively at interviews that the two sides are discussing opening a NATO liaison office in Japan.

Wang said this calls for high vigilance among countries in the world, particularly in the Asia-Pacific, adding that he hopes relevant parties will not undermine regional peace and stability only to pursue so-called geopolitical interests

NATO has publicly stated on many occasions that it remains a regional alliance and does not seek a geopolitical breakthrough, Wang said.

READ MORE: Reports: NATO to open Japan office for Indo-Pacific consultation

"However, we have seen NATO constantly strengthening ties with Asia-Pacific countries, and bent on going east into this region, interfering in regional affairs and inciting bloc confrontation. What is NATO really up to?" Wang said.

He said this calls for high vigilance among countries in the world, particularly in the Asia-Pacific, adding that he hopes relevant parties will not undermine regional peace and stability only to pursue so-called geopolitical interests.

"In the meantime, the rest of the world are looking closely at whether Japan really wants to spearhead NATO's extension into the Asia-Pacific," he said.

Asia is one of the most peaceful and stable regions in the world and a promising place for cooperation and development, not a wrestling ground for geopolitical contest. Given Japan's history of militarist aggression during the last century, Japan's military and security moves have been closely watched by its Asian neighbors and the international community, Wang said.

READ MORE: US-led NATO may disrupt Asia-Pacific

He urged Japan to draw lessons from history, stay committed to the path of peaceful development, and avoid doing things that could dismantle trust and affect peace and stability in this region.