NATO and Asian nations respond to China’s ‘challenge to security’ — Analysis

As a result of rising tensions in Asia, NATO will intensify its cooperation with Asian partners. “security challenge” coming from China, which refuses to condemn Russia’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during a press conference on Tuesday.

He stated that foreign ministers will also be invited from the EU, Finland, Sweden, Georgia and other member states to the bloc. However, he also noted that NATO’s Asia-Pacific partners such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea have been invited as well, stating that the current security crisis has “global implications.”

The ministers will discuss new strategic concepts which will account for the military conflict in Ukraine, but will also include for the first time the issue of 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,”Stoltenberg urged that democratic democracies stand up to their values “authoritarian powers.”

He expressed his hope that NATO will be able deepen its cooperation and partnership with Asia-Pacific countries in such areas as “arms control, cyber, hybrid and technology.”

Since the start of Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine, Beijing has held off on taking a particular stance on the issue, calling for a peaceful resolution to the conflict but refusing to condemn Moscow’s actions or join the sweeping economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the likes of the US, Canada, the UK, the EU, Japan, Australia, and other nations.

China mocks US demand

For the last few weeks, the US has increasingly been putting more pressure on China to “pick a side,” with Joe Biden warning Beijing of potential “consequences” and “costs” should China choose to back Russia in the Ukraine conflict, either militarily or by helping circumvent international sanctions.

Moscow attacked its neighbor in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements signed in 2014, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. French and German protocols were designed to normalize those areas within Ukraine’s state.

Russia demanded Ukraine be declared neutral by the United States and refuse to join NATO. Kiev claims that the Russian invasion was unprovoked. It also denies any plans to take the republics with force.

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