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Roving Periscope: “Decisive enabler of Russia-Ukraine war,” NATO pressurizes China

Roving Periscope: “Decisive enabler of Russia-Ukraine war,” NATO pressurizes China

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Virendra Pandit

New Delhi: The US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has accused China of being a “decisive enabler of the Russia-Ukraine war.”
China “has become a decisive enabler of Russia’s war against Ukraine through its so-called ‘no limits’ partnership and its large-scale support for Russia’s defense industrial base,” NATO leaders said in a declaration from their Summit in Washington, DC, on Wednesday.

They said China’s deepening ties with Russia are a cause of “deep concern” and accused Beijing of playing a key role in helping Moscow’s assault on Ukraine.

NATO leaders also urged China “to cease all material and political support to Russia’s war effort.”

“This includes the transfer of dual-use materials, such as weapons components, equipment, and raw materials that serve as inputs for Russia’s defense sector,” the declaration said.

China “cannot enable the largest war in Europe in recent history without this negatively impacting its interests and reputation,” the West’s security alliance said.

Beijing has already angrily rejected the accusations from NATO and says the US-led alliance is seeking an excuse to expand its influence eastwards.

The United States has been pushing its European allies for years to pay closer attention to the threats posed by China.

“I think the message sent from NATO from this summit is very strong and very clear, and we are clearly defining China’s responsibility when it comes to enabling Russia’s war,” NATO’s outgoing Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.

The joint declaration marked NATO’s most pointed tone yet on China’s role in a war that has galvanized the 75-year-old security bloc, which celebrated its anniversary this week at a three-day leaders’ summit, hosted by US President Joe Biden.

The US and European leaders in recent months have accused China of bolstering Russia’s defense sector with the export of dual-use goods. Beijing has denied supplying weaponry and maintains it keeps strict controls on such goods.

The NATO leaders also elaborated to a greater extent than in the past on concerns over China’s growing capabilities and activities in outer space and reiterated their previous unease about what they called Beijing’s “malicious cyber and hybrid activities,” including disinformation, and “rapidly” expanding nuclear arsenal.

“We remain open to constructive engagement with the PRC, including to build reciprocal transparency with the view of safeguarding the Alliance’s security interests,” the statement said, referring to the official name, the People’s Republic of China.

“At the same time, we are boosting our shared awareness, enhancing our resilience and preparedness, and protecting against the PRC’s coercive tactics and efforts to divide the Alliance.”

The NATO leaders’ declaration on Wednesday came as the 32-member alliance – historically focused on security in North America and Europe – has in recent years upped its engagement with US allies in Asia and increasingly seen its security as linked to the region, even as member countries have pursued divergent policies toward China.

For the third consecutive year, leaders of New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea attended the NATO leaders’ summit in another sign of closer ties between the bloc and those countries, as well as Australia.

Their statement came before the leaders of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea are set to attend the NATO summit on Thursday.


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