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NATO refits in Eastern Europe against Russia

Madrid: China is rebuking NATO for what it calls the alliance's Cold War mentality.

The comments came as NATO leaders held a summit in Spain, where they are expected to identify China as a challenge for the alliance.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said NATO should give up the cold war mentality, zero-sum game and the practice of creating enemies, and not to try to mess up Asia and the whole world after disrupting Europe.

He accused NATO members of creating tension and provoking conflicts by sending warships and aircraft into areas close to the Asian mainland and the South China Sea.

His remarks follow a recent interception of a surveillance aircraft from NATO member Canada by a Chinese fighter in international airspace, which Canadian officials described as reckless on the part of the Chinese pilot.

And U.S. ally Australia on May 26 said China committed a dangerous act of aggression against an Australian air force plane conducting aerial surveillance in the South China Sea.

Zhao also criticised sanctions brought against Russia, whose invasion of Ukraine it has refused to condemn or even describe as an act of aggression.

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OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:

A senior European Union official is welcoming the chance for the bloc to strengthen its ties with NATO.

Charles Michel, President of the European Council, said the EU and the military alliance held common values which would be on show at the NATO summit starting Wednesday.

Asked if EU members should boost their defense spending in response to the Russian threat following the invasion if Ukraine, Michel said: Yes! Yes! Yes!

He added: And we are doing that because we have decided to increase (defense spending) by 200 billion euros in the following years (...) But it's not enough.

Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen are invited to a working dinner held with the leaders of the 30 members of NATO and other national leaders from Europe and the Pacific later at the Prado Museum in Madrid.

The leaders of the six non-NATO members belonging to the EU will also attend the dinner, including Sweden and Finland who have asked to join the military alliance.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has deplored NATO's failure to embrace his country and asked the alliance for more weapons.

Zelenskyy told a NATO summit in Madrid by video link that the alliance's leaders either had to provide Ukraine with the help it needed to defeat Russia or face a delayed war between Russia and yourself.

He also asked Wednesday for more modern artillery systems to fend off the Russia's invasion, now entering its fifth month.

Zelenskyy bemoaned that Ukraine's efforts have not merited closer ties with NATO.

He asked: Hasn't our contribution to defending Europe and the entire civilization been sufficient? What else is necessary? (AP)

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