January 28, 2023

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Blinken: NATO worried about ‘rapid and opaque’ Chinese military buildup

NATO allies are concerned about China’s rapid and ambiguous military buildup and its cooperation with Russia, and have discussed concrete ways to meet the challenges posed by Beijing, US Secretary of State. Anthony Blinken He said.

Our coalition members are still worried about the PRC [People’s Republic of China] “Coercive policies, through their use of disinformation, through their swift and flashy military buildup, including their cooperation with Russia,” Blinken said at a press conference on Wednesday after a two-day meeting of the defense alliance’s foreign ministers.

“But we also remain committed to maintaining a constructive dialogue with China where we can, and we welcome opportunities to work together on common challenges.”

Blinken’s comments came after Moscow said Russian and Chinese strategic warplanes, including the Tu-95 long-range “Bear” bombers, had conducted joint patrols over the Sea of ​​Japan and East China Sea, and US ally South Korea said they had conducted patrols. Fighter jets like two Chinese warplanes and six Russian jets scrambled entered its air defense zone.

They also came after a Pentagon report that said China will likely have a stockpile of 1,500 nuclear warheads by 2035 at its current pace of nuclear buildup, underlining growing US concerns about Beijing’s intentions to expand its arsenal.

China and Russia upset the United States and its allies by announcing a “borderless” strategic partnership with Russia in February, just days before Russian forces invaded Ukraine.

Since then, South Korea and its neighbor Japan have developed closer ties with Japan NATOfor a NATO summit in June where South Korean observers and companies shipped weapons to neighboring Russia and this year’s NATO member Poland.

Blinken said that while NATO continues to focus on maintaining a unified support for Ukraine, members also want to strengthen the alliance’s resilience by considering new challenges, including those posed by China.

“What we talked about today, again, is making sure we adapt in concrete ways to meet the challenge,” Blinken said, without elaborating.

The United States and its allies understand that there is a competition to shape the world beyond the divisions of the Cold War

“There is a recognition that there is also, in many ways, what Europeans call a systemic rivalry between China and many of our countries,” Blinken said. “But there is also a recognition that wherever possible we have to find ways to collaborate on really big issues.”

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