Printable Page Headline News   Return to Menu - Page 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 13
 
 
NATO Chief Wants More 'Friends'        02/01 06:01

   China's growing assertiveness and collaboration with Russia poses a threat 
not only to Asia but also to Europe, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg 
said Wednesday as he sought stronger cooperation and more "friends" for NATO in 
the Indo-Pacific region.

   TOKYO (AP) -- China's growing assertiveness and collaboration with Russia 
poses a threat not only to Asia but also to Europe, NATO Secretary-General Jens 
Stoltenberg said Wednesday as he sought stronger cooperation and more "friends" 
for NATO in the Indo-Pacific region.

   Stoltenberg said China is increasingly investing in nuclear weapons and 
long-range missiles without providing transparency or engaging in meaningful 
dialogue on arms control for atomic weapons, while escalating coercion of its 
neighbors and threats against Taiwan, the self-ruled island it claims as its 
own territory.

   "The fact that Russia and China are coming closer and the significant 
investments by China and new advanced military capabilities just underlines 
that China poses a threat, poses a challenge also to NATO allies," Stoltenberg 
told an audience at Keio University in Tokyo. "Security is not regional but 
global."

   "NATO needs to make sure we have friends," he said. "It is important to work 
more closely with our partners in the Indo-Pacific."

   China is increasingly working with Russia and they lead an "authoritarian 
pushback" against the rules-based, open and democratic international order, he 
said.

   Stoltenberg said NATO does not regard China as an adversary or seek 
confrontation, and that the alliance will continue to engage with China in 
areas of common interest, such as climate change.

   Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning defended China as "a force 
for regional and global peace and stability" and criticized NATO for labeling 
China a threat and for expanding its military ties to Asia.

   "NATO has constantly sought to reach beyond its traditional defense zone and 
scope, strengthen military and security ties with Asia Pacific countries and 
played up China's threats," Mao said. "I would like to stress that the 
Asia-Pacific is not a battlefield for the geopolitical contest and does not 
welcome the Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation."

   Stoltenberg and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida held talks Tuesday and 
agreed to step up their partnership in security in cyberspace, space, defense 
and other areas.

   Besides Japan, NATO is also strengthening "practical cooperation" with 
Australia, New Zealand and South Korea in maritime cybersecurity and other 
areas and stepping up participation of their leaders and ministers in NATO 
meetings, he said.

   Kishida on Tuesday announced Japan's plans to open a representative office 
at NATO.

   Japan, already a close ally of the United States, has in recent years 
expanded its military ties with other Indo-Pacific nations as well as with 
Britain, Europe and NATO amid growing security threats from China and North 
Korea.

   Tokyo was quick to join in U.S.-led economic sanctions against Russia's war 
in Ukraine and provided humanitarian aid and non-combative defense equipment 
for Ukrainians. Japan fears that Russian aggression in Europe could be 
reflected in Asia, where concerns are growing over increasing Chinese 
assertiveness and escalating tensions over its claim to Taiwan.

   Stoltenberg arrived in Japan late Monday from South Korea, where he called 
for Seoul to provide direct military support to Ukraine to help it fight off 
the prolonged Russian invasion.

   North Korea condemned Stoltenberg's visits to South Korea and Japan, saying 
that NATO was trying to put its "military boots in the region" to pressure 
America's Asian allies into providing weapons to Ukraine.

   North Korea also criticized increasing cooperation between NATO and U.S. 
allies in Asia as a process to create an "Asian version of NATO," saying it 
would raise tensions in the region.

 
 
Copyright DTN. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Powered By DTN