NATO chief openly touts targeting China, cites Ukraine stance as excuse
According to Stoltenberg, China poses a "security challenge" in today's world.
Although the North Atlantic Treaty Organization supposedly has its hands full with disrupting Eastern Europe and targeting Russia, it seems it also harbors plans to target China.
According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, NATO intends to deepen cooperation with its Asian allies responding to the impending "security challenge" coming from China, which refuses to condemn Russia's military operation in Ukraine.
Speaking during a press conference on Tuesday, Stoltenberg announced that the alliance will be hosting foreign ministers from NATO states in addition to Finland, Sweden, Georgia and the European Union. Asia-Pacific partners were invited as well, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea. He said that the current "security crisis" has "global implications."
The ministers will be discussing new strategic concepts regarding the war in Ukraine in addition to, for the first time, dealing with China's "growing influence and coercive policies on the global stage which pose a systemic challenge to our security and to our democracies.”
“We see that China has been unwilling to condemn Russia’s aggression and has joined Moscow in questioning the right of nations to choose their own path,” said Stoltenberg. The NATO general urged the member states, mostly liberal democracies, to stand up against "authoritarian powers."
According to Freedom House, an organization funded by Washington, 5 of 30 NATO members are not considered to be completely democratic: Turkey, Albania, Hungary, Montenegro and North Macedonia.
Stoltenberg hopes that there will be enhanced cooperation between NATO and Asia-Pacific partners on "arms control, cyber, hybrid and technology."
Beijing has made it increasingly clear that it will not impose sanctions on Russia and maintaining an independent stance on Ukraine, that it is not a party in the conflict and will be a force for peace and mediation if and when necessary.
Joe Biden, in parallel, has been pushing China to "pick a side" while also threatening the country with "costs" and "consequences" if it were to support Russia in the conflict, whether militarily or by helping Moscow go around sanctions.
Sanctions are sinking all nations into a deeper economic crisis post-pandemic, yet, Europe has been working around the clock to sanction vital Russian exports. Yesterday, the EU proposed to ban Russian ships from entering European ports and imposing sanctions on Russian coal.
China to EU: We are not party to crisis in Ukraine
China's Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that it was not doing anything to "circumvent" sanctions imposed on Russia.
EU officials had warned that attempts to aid Russia amid the war in Ukraine would damage economic ties with China. A foreign ministry official told reporters today: "We are not doing anything deliberately to circumvent sanctions imposed on Russia by Americans and Europeans."
Beijing still holds firm to its stance of refusing to condemn Russia's war in Ukraine.
Washington has said that China could potentially send military and economic aid to Russia to allow it to circumvent Western sanctions against it. This statement comes as a clear indication that China plans on doing no such thing.
"We oppose sanctions and the effects of these sanctions also risk spilling to the rest of the world," said Wang Lutong, director-general of the Chinese foreign ministry's department of European affairs, at a press briefing.
Lutong stressed that China is not a party to the crisis in Ukraine, and its normal trade with any other country should not be affected.
China said that normal trade with Moscow will remain unaffected, however. "Even Europe has been conducting normal business with Russians," he said, adding "We are contributing to the global economy by maintaining the normal trade (with Russia), to avoid any possible disruption of the supply and industrial chains."