NATO allies call China ‘decisive helper’ of Russia in Ukraine war

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NATO leaders said Wednesday that China is a “decisive backer” of Russia’s war on Ukraine, as the defense alliance hardens its position on Beijing and what they say is a “systemic challenge” it poses to their countries’ security.

The joint declaration marks NATO’s sharpest tone on China’s role in the war. 75 years old It celebrated its anniversary this week at a three-day leaders’ summit hosted by US President Joe Biden in Washington.

China’s “no-limits” partnership with Russia and its “massive support for Russia’s defense industrial base” help Moscow wage its war, NATO leaders said in a statement, urging Beijing to “end all material and political support to Russia.” The war effort.”

In recent months, US and European leaders have accused China of boosting Russia’s defense sector by exporting dual-use goods. Beijing has denied supplying the weapons and maintains strict controls on such supplies.

NATO leaders expanded concerns about China’s growing capabilities and activities in space more than in the past, and reiterated their earlier uneasiness about what they called Beijing’s “malicious cyber and hybrid activities,” disinformation and “rapidity.” Proliferation of nuclear weapons.

“We remain open to constructive engagement with the PRC, including building mutual transparency aimed at safeguarding the alliance’s security interests,” it said, referring to China by its official initials.

“At the same time, we are increasing our shared awareness, improving our resilience and readiness, and defending against the PRC’s coercive tactics and efforts to divide the alliance.”

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Wednesday’s announcement by NATO leaders said the 32-member alliance — historically focused on defense in North America and Europe — has in recent years improved its engagement with U.S. allies in Asia and linked its defense to the region even as a member. Countries follow different policies towards China.

For the third consecutive year, the leaders of New Zealand, Japan and South Korea attended the NATO leaders’ summit, another sign of the close ties between those countries and Australia.

Sergei Babilov/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is scheduled to pay a state visit to China on May 16, 2024.

Tense relations between China and Russia

is in Beijing Deepened political, economic and military ties Since President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a “no limits” partnership with Moscow in February 2022 — and their shared opposition to what they say is NATO expansion — during the Russian leader’s visit to the Chinese capital, weeks before his full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

China has surpassing the European Union Becoming Russia’s top trading partner provides a vital lifeline to its economy, which has been largely sanctioned since that invasion, while the two nuclear-armed neighbors continue to conduct joint military exercises.

Meanwhile, China has sought to cast itself as a potential peace broker, claiming neutrality in the war, and US and European leaders have grown increasingly nervous about what they say is Beijing’s war. Support from Moscow Its economic and diplomatic support, as well as provision of dual-use goods.

On Thursday, China criticized the NATO report as “full of Cold War attitudes and belligerent rhetoric” and said it was “provoked with blatant lies and slander”.

“China did not create the Ukraine crisis. China’s position on Ukraine remains open. “We aim to promote peace talks and seek a political solution,” says a statement from its mission to the European Union.

The Chinese statement reiterated Beijing’s position that it has never supplied lethal weapons in the conflict and defended its trade with Russia as “normal”, with strict dual-use export controls.

US and European leaders have warned in recent months that such exports are reviving Russia’s defense sector and allowing it to survive despite tough international sanctions. The US has said that dual-use exports have enabled the production of tanks, ammunition and armored vehicles in particular.

Both the United States and the European Union have sanctioned Chinese companies.

The declaration by NATO leaders is the latest step in a gradual hardening of the tone on China in recent years.

NATO leaders first noted the need to jointly address the “opportunities and challenges” presented by China in the 2019 declaration, before addressing the “systematic challenges” the country will present in 2021.

The shift comes as US policy focuses on the Indo-Pacific amid deepening competition with Beijing as China grows increasingly aggressive in the region and its broader foreign policy under Xi’s leadership.

NATO’s focus on Asia has accelerated over the past two-and-a-half years, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the Kremlin’s tightening of ties not only with China but also with North Korea and Iran, hardening geopolitical faults.

NATO leaders on Wednesday said Pyongyang and Tehran were “fueling” Russia’s war with “direct military support” and condemned North Korea’s export of “cannonballs and ballistic missiles” to Russia – which several governments say they monitored during Putin’s tenure last year. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un hosted in Russian Far East.

“The Indo-Pacific is critical to NATO, and developments in that region will directly affect Euro-Atlantic security,” the leaders said in their announcement.

“We are strengthening dialogue to address cross-regional challenges and enhancing our practical cooperation through priority projects in areas such as support to Ukraine, cyber security, countering disinformation and technology,” it said.

Beijing is warily watching NATO’s growing engagement with other powers in the Asia-Pacific region. As Washington strengthens its longstanding Indo-Pacific security partnership and interests, China is widely seen by observers as hoping to become the dominant power in the region and push back the US presence there.

China and Russia are united in their shared opposition to NATO, which is part of both’s broader ambition to reshape a world order they see as unfairly dominated by the United States, and both blame the Western security alliance for prodding Moscow to invade Ukraine.

In its statement on Thursday, Beijing’s EU mission called on NATO to “correct its misconception of China” and “abandon the Cold War mentality and zero-sum game”.

“The Asia-Pacific region is a place for peaceful development, not a wrestling ground for geopolitical competition… NATO must not become a disruptor of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region,” the statement said.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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