China called on NATO to stop spreading wrong information and nuclear blackmail, amid an escalation of global tensions and fears of World War III.

It was in a reaction to preparations by members of the alliance to counter a “growing” threat from Beijing and Moscow.

“We require NATO to stop spreading false narratives, stop nuclear blackmail and coercion and stop going further down the wrong path,” Defense Ministry spokesman Senior Col. Wu Qian said at a news conference in Beijing.

He was commenting on reports that cited outgoing NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg who said the alliance is in talks about taking missiles out of storage and placing them on standby in the face of a growing threat from Russia and China.

Stoltenberg reportedly claimed that China was investing heavily in modern weaponry, including nuclear weapons.

Wu further said that NATO plays up the non-existent “China nuclear threat” in disregard of facts, which the Chinese side stands firmly against.

He contended that in recent years, NATO has “continuously” enhanced the role of nuclear weapons in its collective security policy, strengthened “nuclear sharing” arrangements and upgraded the nuclear weapons deployed by the US in NATO countries.

“Such behaviors increase the risks of nuclear arms race and conflicts, and will surely be firmly opposed by the international community,” he added.

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