China is "systemic challenge" to NATO, summit statement to say

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BRUSSELS, June 14 (Reuters) - NATO will formally call out China's behaviour as a "systemic challenge" in its final summit statement on Monday, according to a copy of the document seen by Reuters, a first for the alliance historically focused on Russia.

"China's stated ambitions and assertive behaviour present systemic challenges to the rules-based international order and to areas relevant to alliance security," NATO leaders will say in their communiques to be published after the summit in Brussels ends on Monday. Such statements set the path for NATO strategy.

The Western military alliance will call out China for rapidly expanding its nuclear arsenal, its opaqueness in modernising its forces and its military cooperation with Russia, according to the document. (Reporting by Steve Holland, Editing by Gabriela Baczynska)