NATO Chief Wants More Indo-Pacific ‘Friends’ as Russia, China Move Closer – The Diplomat read full article at

NATO Chief Wants More Indo-Pacific ‘Friends’ as Russia, China Move Closer

NATO Secretary Common Jens Stoltenberg (left) meets Prime Minister of Japan Kishida Fumio, Jan. 31, 2023.

Credit score: NATO

China’s rising assertiveness and collaboration with Russia poses a menace not solely to Asia but in addition to Europe, NATO Secretary-Common Jens Stoltenberg mentioned Wednesday as he sought stronger cooperation and extra “friends” for NATO within the Indo-Pacific area.

Stoltenberg mentioned China is more and more investing in nuclear weapons and long-range missiles with out offering transparency or participating in significant dialogue on arms management for atomic weapons, whereas escalating coercion of its neighbors and threats towards Taiwan, the self-ruled island it claims as its personal 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 advised an viewers at Keio College in Tokyo. “Security is not regional but global.”

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

China is more and more working with Russia and so they lead an “authoritarian pushback” towards the rules-based, open, and democratic worldwide order, he mentioned.

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Stoltenberg mentioned NATO doesn’t regard China as an adversary or search confrontation, and that the alliance will proceed to interact with China in areas of widespread curiosity, comparable to local weather change.

Chinese language International Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning defended China as “a force for regional and global peace and stability” and criticized NATO for labeling China a menace and for increasing its navy 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 mentioned. “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 Kishida Fumio held talks Tuesday and agreed to step up their partnership in safety in our on-line world, house, protection, and different areas.

Apart from Japan, NATO can be strengthening “practical cooperation” with Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea in maritime cybersecurity and different areas and stepping up participation of their leaders and ministers in NATO conferences, he mentioned.

The leaders of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea — collectively known as the Asia-Pacific companions, or AP4 — attended a NATO summit for the primary time in June 2022. NATO said in a statement shortly afterward that “strengthening relations with the Asia-Pacific partners forms an important aspect of the NATO 2030 agenda.”

Kishida on Tuesday introduced Japan’s plans to open a consultant workplace at NATO.

Japan, already an in depth ally of the USA, has in recent times expanded its navy ties with different Indo-Pacific nations in addition to with Britain, Europe, and NATO amid rising safety threats from China and North Korea.

Tokyo was fast to affix in U.S.-led financial sanctions towards Russia’s conflict in Ukraine and offered humanitarian help and non-combative protection gear for Ukrainians. Japan fears that Russian aggression in Europe could possibly be mirrored in Asia, the place issues are rising over growing Chinese language assertiveness and escalating tensions over its declare to Taiwan.

Stoltenberg arrived in Japan late Monday from South Korea, the place he referred to as for Seoul to offer direct navy help to Ukraine to assist it combat off the extended Russian invasion.

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North Korea condemned Stoltenberg’s visits to South Korea and Japan, saying that NATO was making an attempt to place its “military boots in the region” to stress the USA’ Asian allies into offering weapons to Ukraine.

North Korea additionally criticized growing cooperation between NATO and U.S. allies in Asia as a course of to create an “Asian version of NATO,” saying it will increase tensions within the area.

#asiannews #asian_news

About Mari Yamaguchi and Haruka Nuga

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