NATO chief: China is ‘learning lessons’ from Putin’s invasion of Ukraine
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday that China is “watching closely” and “learning lessons” from Russia’s ongoing invasion with neighboring Ukraine.
Speaking at a news conference alongside Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Stoltenberg said it is a crucial time for Asian-European relations.
“Beijing and Moscow are leading an authoritarian pushback against the international rules-based order,” Stoltenberg said at the news conference, adding the Russia-Ukraine war “is not just a European crisis,but a challenge to the world order.”
Stoltenberg also said that If Russian President Vladimir Putin comes out victorious from his invasion of Ukraine, it could lead to dire consequences such as China heading down a similar path in the near future.
“If President Putin wins in Ukraine, this would send a message that authoritarian regimes can achieve their goals through brute force. This is dangerous,” Stoltenberg said. “Beijing is watching closely. And learning lessons that may influence its future decisions.”
“What is happening in Europe today could happen in East Asia tomorrow,” he added. “So we must remain united and firm. Standing together for freedom and democracy.”
Stoltenberg’s remarks come amid growing concerns about China possibly invading neighboring Taiwan. A U.S. general said in a memo on Friday that he believes the country will be at war with China by 2025.
China has ramped up its military and economic pressure on Taiwan in recent months, with experts predicting Chinese President Xi Jinping will use various tools in the coming year to impose Chinese control of the island.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is reportedly planning a trip Taiwan later this year, in a visit that would mirror that of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) last year, which infuriated Beijing.
In a statement this week, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning warned “certain individuals” to “abide by the one-China principle” and avoid official interactions with Taiwan.
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