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NATO Urges China to Cease Supporting Russia if it Desires Positive Relations with the West

Jens Stoltenberg (Credits: Bloomberg)

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg declared on Thursday that China must cease its support for Russia’s war in Ukraine if it wishes to maintain positive relations with the West.

Stoltenberg emphasized that China’s assistance is crucial to Moscow’s war effort, as it sustains Russia’s war economy by sharing advanced technology like semiconductors. During a visit to Berlin, the chief of the Western military alliance warned Beijing in unusually harsh words that it could not have it both ways.

“Last year, Russia imported 90% of its microelectronics from China to produce missiles, tanks, and aircraft. China is also working to provide Russia with improved satellite capabilities and imaging”

Jens Stoltenberg (Credits: VOA News)

Stoltenberg said, highlighting the extent of China’s involvement in Russia’s war efforts. “China says it wants good relations with the West. At the same time, Beijing continues to fuel the largest armed conflict in Europe since World War Two. They cannot have it both ways,” he warned.

Stoltenberg cautioned Western allies against becoming as dependent on China as they had been on Russia, emphasizing the importance of avoiding similar mistakes. “In the past, we made the mistake of becoming dependent on Russian oil and gas,” he said. “We must not repeat that mistake with China. Depending on its money, raw materials, and technologies, dependencies make us vulnerable.”

China has strengthened trade and military ties with Russia in recent years, as the United States and its allies imposed sanctions on both countries, particularly Moscow, for the invasion of Ukraine.

Jens Stoltenberg (Credits: The Brussels Times)

According to Chinese customs data, China-Russian trade hit a record high of $240.1 billion in 2023, a 26.3% increase from the previous year. Chinese shipments to Russia jumped 46.9% in 2023, while imports from Russia rose 13%.

Last month, Reuters reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin will travel to China in May for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, in what could be the first overseas trip of his new presidential term.

This development has raised concerns among Western allies, urging China to take a more neutral stance in the conflict. Stoltenberg’s warning to China marks an escalation in NATO’s rhetoric as the alliance seeks to pressure Beijing into reevaluating its support for Russia’s war efforts.

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