Beijing criticized the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on Thursday after the U.S.-led military alliance asserted that China poses \u0022serious challenges\u0022 to global stability.\r\n\r\nNATO listed China as one of its priorities in the so-called 2022 Strategic Concept that leaders approved Wednesday at a summit in Madrid. This marked a first, as the alliance\u0026#039;s previous blueprint, published in 2010, made no mention of the East Asian country.\r\n\r\nAccording to NATO, Beijing\u0026#039;s \u0022coercive policies\u0022 threaten the Western bloc\u0026#039;s \u0022interests, security, and values.\u0022\r\n\r\nAddressing the \u0022systemic challenges posed by the People\u0026#039;s Republic of China to Euro-Atlantic security\u0022 and the \u0022deepening strategic partnership\u0022 between China and Russia is now a NATO priority, the bloc declared.\r\n\r\nBeijing responded with indignation.\r\n\r\n\u0022Who\u0026#039;s challenging global security and undermining world peace?\u0022 China\u0026#039;s mission to the European Union asked Thursday in a statement. \u0022Are there any wars or conflicts over the years where NATO is not involved?\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022NATO\u0026#039;s so-called Strategic Concept, filled with Cold War thinking and ideological bias, is maliciously attacking and smearing China. We firmly oppose it,\u0022 the statement said. \u0022When it comes to acts that undermine China\u0026#039;s interests, we will make firm and strong responses.\u0022\r\n\r\nAs The Guardian reported:\r\n\r\n\r\nSince Russia\u0026#039;s invasion of Ukraine, China has been pointing its finger at the U.S. and NATO on multiple occasions. But NATO\u0026#039;s attention to the China-Russia partnership began even before Moscow\u0026#039;s military operations in its neighbor. It has also been openly talking about China for some time.\r\n\r\nIn its annual summit in Brussels last June, the traditionally Russia-focused military alliance asserted, for the first time, that it needed to respond to Beijing\u0026#039;s growing power. The language the bloc used at the time also echoed the E.U.\u0026#039;s phrase of \u0022systemic rival,\u0022 and the U.K.\u0026#039;s \u0022systemic competitor\u0022 when describing China.\r\n\r\n\r\nNATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters Wednesday that \u0022China is substantially building up its military forces, including nuclear weapons, bullying its neighbors, threatening Taiwan... monitoring and controlling its own citizens through advanced technology, and spreading Russian lies and disinformation.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022China is not our adversary,\u0022 said Stoltenberg, \u0022but we must be clear-eyed about the serious challenges it represents.\u0022\r\n\r\nIn response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Thursday that NATO\u0026#039;s latest policy document \u0022disregards facts, confuses black and white... [and] smears China\u0026#039;s foreign policy.\u0022\r\n\r\nChina, Zhao added, does not pose \u0022the systemic challenge imagined.\u0022 Instead, he argued, it is NATO that is a \u0022systemic challenge to world peace and stability\u0022 and its \u0022hands are stained with the blood of the world\u0026#039;s people.\u0022\r\n\r\nWhile Stoltenberg claimed that NATO is still \u0022open to constructive engagement\u0022 with Beijing, the trans-Atlantic military alliance is moving to expand its reach across the Pacific. This is due in part to fears that Russia\u0026#039;s military assault on Ukraine could embolden China to invade Taiwan, a self-governing island that Beijing considers its province, and concerns about possible military cooperation between Moscow and Beijing on Russia\u0026#039;s Pacific coast.\r\n\r\nAs Al Jazeera reported:\r\n\r\n\r\nHighlighting NATO\u0026#039;s new focus on China, the gathering of world leaders in Madrid, both inside the bloc\u0026#039;s summit and on its sidelines, included many from Asian nations.\r\n\r\nIt was the first time that the leaders of Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand were invited to a NATO summit. They participated in a NATO session on new global challenges after holding a side meeting outside of the summit.\r\n\r\n\r\nOn Wednesday, Zhao encouraged NATO to abandon its \u0022zero-sum game and the practice of creating enemies, and not try to mess up Asia and the whole world after disrupting Europe.\u0022\r\n\r\nReferring to NATO\u0026#039;s response to the war in Ukraine, Zhao said that \u0022sanctions are not a way out of conflicts, and the continued delivery of weapons will not help realize peace.\u0022\r\n\r\nDuring this week\u0026#039;s summit, Stoltenberg announced that \u0022thousands of new troops would be deployed in eight countries on NATO\u0026#039;s eastern flank,\u0022 the New York Times reported Thursday. Biden, for his part, said that \u0022Washington would deploy an Army garrison headquarters and a field support battalion in Poland, the first U.S. forces permanently located on NATO\u0026#039;s eastern flank.\u0022\r\n\r\nJust before issuing its strategic blueprint, NATO also extended formal membership invitations to Finland and Sweden.\r\n\r\nPeace advocates have warned that the incorporation of the two previously neutral Nordic countries, one of which shares an 830-mile border with Russia, into NATO increases the likelihood of a direct confrontation that could spiral into a nuclear war.