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NATO poses systematic challenge to global security, says Chinese expert

In Madrid, the foreign ministers of Turkey, Sweden and Finland signed a memorandum making it possible for Sweden and Finland to join the alliance

SHANGHAI, July 4. /TASS/. The North-Atlantic Treaty Organization places itself as a defensive regional structure, but in reality the alliance poses a systematic challenge to the global security and stability, a senior expert with the Shanghai Academy of Social Studies told TASS on Monday.

"NATO positions itself as a regional defensive structure, but in reality it continues with its vast expansion through regions and territories sparking up wars everywhere, killing innocent civilians," Li Lifan, the executive director of the Center for Russian and Central Asian Studies with the Shanghai Academy of Social Studies, said in an interview with TASS.

"Peoples of China and the countries of the Asia-Pacific will inevitably continue putting up a resistance against it," the expert continued.

Speaking about the recent summit of the NATO member-states in Spain’s Madrid, Li Lifan noted that results of that meeting directly pointed to NATO’s return to the alliance’s perception of the current situation similar to the times of the Cold War era.

According to him, the alliance switched to the use of definite tools in the form of NATO’s new Strategic Concept aimed at guiding enemies and consolidating efforts for provocations against Russia and China.

"China has always been playing a constructive role in building the global peace, contributed into the global development and protected the world order," the expert continued. "NATO, on the contrary, is a real systematic challenge to the global stability and security."

Commenting on a possible NATO expansion, Li Lifan said that Europe should be the region of peace, stability and joint development, instead of being the arena for geopolitical games.

"Speaking about the European security issues, I should say that all countries must treat with respect all mutually-reasonable concerns by means of a dialogue and negotiations, sticking up to the joint, all-embracing and stable security concepts, which are based on cooperation, as well as to keep building a balanced, effective and stable regional security structure," he added.

Finland and Sweden, who applied to join NATO on May 18, were expected to receive a formal invitation to become the bloc’s members at a NATO summit in Madrid, but Turkey blocked the accession process.

In Madrid, the foreign ministers of Turkey, Sweden and Finland signed a memorandum making it possible for Sweden and Finland to join the alliance. The document particularly provides for the two Nordic countries’ cooperation with Ankara in the fight against terrorism, namely the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its branches.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last Thursday that Sweden had pledged to extradite 73 people involved in terrorist activities to Turkey.