NATO Fears China’s Military Threat And Cooperation With Russia
by Stefan Bos, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Leaders of the NATO military alliance warned Monday that the military threat posed by China and its cooperation with Russia is a “systemic challenge.”
China, they stressed, was rapidly expanding its nuclear arsenal, was “opaque” about its military modernization, and was co-operating militarily with Russia.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said China was “coming closer” to NATO in military and technological terms. But he stressed the alliance did not want a new Cold War with China.
The NATO leaders, pressured by the U.S., also condemned Russia, lamenting what they view as Moscow’s aggressive military activities. They referred to its snap wargames near the borders of NATO states and repeated violations of their airspace by Russian planes.
There are also concerns about Russia’s actions in Ukraine, where it annexed the Crimean peninsula and supported pro-Russian separatists in the east. Moscow has also been questioned over its role in other countries, such as the ongoing wars in Syria and Libya.
The statement was welcomed by U.S. President Joe Biden, who used his first appearance at a NATO summit since taking office to call on Russian President Vladimir Putin to step back from “provocative actions” targeting the U.S. and its allies.
NATO leaders joined the United States in accusing Moscow and Beijing of malign actions. Biden’s sharp words for Russia came ahead of his meeting Wednesday with his Russian counterpart Putin.
Biden, wearing a NATO lapel pin, said that he plans to press the Russian leader to halt Russian-originated cyber attacks against the West.
The U.S. president also wants to raise what he views as Russia’s violent stifling of political dissidents and its interference in elections outside its borders. “I’m going to make clear to President Putin that there are areas where we can cooperate, if he chooses,” Biden told reporters as he ended his day at NATO headquarters.
“And if he chooses not to cooperate and acts in a way that he has in the past relative to cybersecurity and other activities, then we will respond, we will respond in kind.”
He didn’t specify how the U.S. would respond. Biden is on an eight-day visit to Europe in which he is seeking to rally allies to speak with a single voice on countering Russia and China.
Biden made clear he wanted to overcome tensions between NATO and his “America First” predecessor, Donald J. Trump.
NATO is a powerful political and military alliance between 30 European and North American countries. It was established after World War Two in response to the perceived threat of communist expansion and the then Soviet Union.
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