BEIJING: China and NATO held an eighth military staff dialogue on security policy in Beijing on Wednesday, according to a statement from the Chinese defence ministry.

The two sides exchanged views on defence matters between China and NATO, as well as the international and regional situation, the ministry said in the statement, without elaborating.

The meeting was co-chaired by the Office of International Military Cooperation of China’s Central Military Commission and the leadership of the Cooperative Security Department of the NATO International Military Staff, the statement added.

NATO said the meeting covered global and regional security landscapes, “with emphasis on Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine; maritime security; and issues of common concern”. Both sides agreed on the “value of continued engagement”, it added in a statement on its website.

The bloc said last year that while China was not an “adversary” it challenged NATO members’ interests, security and values with its “ambitions and coercive policies”.

China lashed back at the accusation, saying NATO had distorted China’s position and policies and Chinese state media called NATO a “grave” challenge to global peace and stability.

Sweden to join NATO in shadow of Ukraine war

The dialogue comes a week after Sweden joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, leaving a long-standing non-alignment policy for greater safety within the security pact after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

The last round of such talks was in February last year at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

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