BEIJING, May 4. /TASS/. NATO advancing to the Asia-Pacific region will undoubtedly worsen stability there, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Mao Ning said at a briefing on Thursday.
"NATO’s continued eastward expansion to the Asia-Pacific region and the alliance’s interference in regional affairs will inevitably undermine peace and stability," she said replying to a request by TASS to comment on NATO’s plans to open an office in Japan.
The diplomat emphasized that Asia "should not become an arena of geopolitical rivalry."
Mao Ning added that NATO’s advance in Asia "will facilitate bloc confrontation." "This should particularly concern the countries in the region," she pointed out.
On May 3, Nikkei reported that NATO was planning to open its liaison office in Japan next year. According to the newspaper, "the station will allow the military alliance to conduct periodic consultations with Japan and key partners in the region such as South Korea, Australia and New Zealand." The official decision should be made before the NATO Summit in Vilnius on July 11-12, Nikkei says.