Seoul [South Korea], June 29 (ANI): After South Korea became the first Asian country to join NATO's Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE), Chinese propagandist Hu Xijin threatened Seoul.
"If South Korea takes a path of turning hostile against its neighbours, the end of this path could be a Ukraine," tweeted Hu Xijin on Thursday.
Hu is China's "best-known propagandist on the global stage" and his formerly high standing at the Global Times, owned and operated by the Chinese Communist Party, suggests his statements have a degree of official sanction.
The warning for incoming South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol is obvious -- Get too close to NATO and feel China's wrath.
Russia, Ukraine's neighbour, launched "special operations" in the country on February 24 after Moscow accused Kyiv of turning hostile towards its neighbours.
However, this year's NATO summit at Madrid is a springboard for establishing a network of like-minded alliances and partnerships spanning the Trans-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific regions, reported NK Pro.
Threatening to invade South Korea will do little to improve the image of China. Also, China finds it difficult to use the Ukraine template for South Korea's invasion as it may end up paying a heavy price- militarily, economically and diplomatically.
It's not clear whether Hu is suggesting China, South Korea's neighbour to the west, is prepared to invade the Korean Peninsula if Seoul joins international organizations Xi Jinping doesn't like, reported NK Pro.
Amid strong opposition from the US and its allies, China has been treading cautiously. It is testing waters to gauge how the west block would react in case it attacks Taiwan.
South Korea has a mutual defense treaty with the US, and there are 28,500 US troops stationed on the peninsula - backed up by thousands more in Japan, reported NK Pro.
Beijing is well aware of the fallouts and collateral damages in case it takes direct military action against South Korea. Thus, it has resorted to "cognitive warfare."
Social media platforms and technological solutions are generally used by China to spread misinformation to cause social unrest and lower people's morale.
Moreover, Chinese President Xi Jinping has permitted military operations outside China's borders in the backdrop of Beijing's assertiveness in the Trans-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific regions. (ANI)