China has accused NATO of exaggerating the threat from Beijing and creating confrontation, after a vow from the Western allies to work together to counter the ‘systemic challenges’ posed by its policies. On Monday, NATO leaders made the commitment, as US President Joe Biden renewed Washington’s transatlantic ties at his first summit with the allies. They said that China’s increasingly assertive actions in building a nuclear arsenal and space and cyber warfare capabilities threatened the international order. On Tuesday, a statement from the China mission to the European Union called for NATO to view China’s development rationally, stop exaggerating various forms of ‘China threat theory’ and not to use China’s legitimate interests and legal rights as excuses for manipulating group politics (while) artificially creating confrontations. It said that NATO’s accusations were a slander of China’s peaceful development, a misjudgment of the international situation and its own role, and it is the continuation of a Cold War mentality and the group’s political psychology at work. The exchange came a day after the China Embassy in Britain hit back at the G7 for political manipulation after the group criticised China’s human rights record. In a communique after a three-day summit in England, G7 leaders slammed China over ‘abuses against activists’ in Hong Kong and minorities in the Xinjiang region. Human rights groups say that China has rounded up an estimated one million Uighurs and other minorities in Xinjiang into internment camps, which Beijing says is to eradicate extremism. President Biden called for China to start acting more responsibly in terms of international norms on human rights. As well as human rights, tensions have soared between Washington and Beijing on a number of fronts in recent years, including trade, technology, and the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the communique, NATO leaders warned Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, whom Biden will meet on Wednesday in Geneva, that his country’s military build-up and provocative behaviour on NATO’s eastern frontier contribute to instability along NATO borders and beyond. When he arrived at the NATO headquarters in Brussels for a summit with his 29 counterparts, Biden stressed that the alliance was critically important to US security.