NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has declared that by being “unwilling to condemn Russia’s aggression,” China has issued a challenge to the Cold War-era alliance. Beijing has remained neutral on the conflict in Ukraine, but has accused NATO of fomenting the crisis by expanding into Eastern Europe.
“We have seen that China is unwilling to condemn Russia’s aggression, and Beijing has joined Moscow in questioning the right of nations to choose their own path,” Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels on Thursday, following a meeting of NATO foreign ministers, along with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba and officials from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea.
“This is a serious challenge to us all,” Stoltenberg added. “It makes it even more important that we stand together.”
China has repeatedly called for a diplomatic end to the war in Ukraine, but has not joined Western powers in sanctioning Moscow, and has continued to trade with its Eurasian neighbor.