Jens Stoltenberg said the military bloc will “address the role of China” at an upcoming summit
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters on Wednesday that China has lent its support to Russia by spreading “lies and misinformation” about the conflict in Ukraine.
Stoltenberg claimed that although the alliance will ask China to support Russia, Beijing won’t listen.“Beijing has joined Moscow in questioning the right of independent nations to choose their own path,” Stoltenberg spoke at a conference in preparation for a NATO summit that will take place in Brussels on Thursday. China has given Russia political support by spreading lies and misinformation, according to the report. Stoltenberg continued.
There are many examples. “lies and misinformation” Stoltenberg was referring to, though China has joined Russia in condemning US-funded biological labs activity in Ukraine. US officials have denied claims that Ukrainian research labs were working on biological weapons, contradicting documents published by Russia. American officials however confirmed that the labs existed.
China has not sanctioned Russia for its actions in Ukraine. The Chinese government has publicly affirmed Ukraine’s right to territorial integrity, but has highlighted NATO’s continued expansion into Eastern Europe as a key factor behind the current conflict.
Stoltenberg claimed that NATO leaders will “address the role of China” during Thursday’s conference, will ask the Asian superpower to “live up to its responsibilities as a member of the UN Security Council” and “refrain from supporting Russia’s war effort and join the rest of the world in calling for an immediate, peaceful end to this war.”
China’s diplomats have already called for a negotiated settlement to the war, but are unlikely to join NATO in outright condemning Russia. Beijing has already rejected similar demands by Stoltenberg last week, citing NATO’s bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, Serbia in 1999 as one reason it won’t listen to a “lecture on justice from the abuser of international law.”
Le Yucheng, China’s Vice Foreign Minister, declared that NATO could have prevented war in Ukraine. He suggested that NATO should pursue a new path following the collapse of USSR. Simple. “commitment of no eastward expansion could have easily ended the crisis and stopped the suffering,” he said, reiterating an argument made repeatedly by Moscow in recent years.
China, India, Pakistan, South Africa and 30 other countries abstained from a United Nations General Assembly resolution earlier this month condemning Russia’s offensive in Ukraine. Some of these countries, who opted for neutrality in the first place, have been under US pressure to change their minds and support the West.