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NATO expresses deep concern over China-Russia alliance

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North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has expressed deep concern over China’s growing relationship with Russia, accusing Beijing of being a “decisive enabler” of Russia’s war against Ukraine through their “no limits” partnership. This was highlighted in a statement by the leaders of the 32-member North Atlantic Treaty Organization following their meeting in Washington to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the North Atlantic Council.

“The People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) stated ambitions and coercive policies continue to challenge our interests, security, and values,” the Washington Summit Declaration stated. “The deepening strategic partnership between Russia and the PRC and their mutually reinforcing attempts to undercut and reshape the rules-based international order are a cause for profound concern.”

The declaration noted that NATO faces hybrid, cyber, space, and other threats from both state and non-state actors. It emphasized that the PRC’s support for Russia’s defense industrial base through their partnership significantly heightens the threat Russia poses to its neighbors and to Euro-Atlantic security.

NATO leaders urged China to cease all material and political support to Russia’s war effort, emphasizing China’s responsibility as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council to uphold the UN Charter.

This includes stopping the transfer of dual-use materials that support Russia’s defense sector. The leaders warned that enabling the largest war in Europe in recent history would negatively impact China’s interests and reputation.

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The declaration also celebrated the historic accession of Sweden as NATO’s 32nd member, noting that the inclusion of Finland and Sweden strengthens the alliance, particularly in the High North and the Baltic Sea.

The document underscored that Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has shattered peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area and severely undermined global security. Russia remains the most significant and direct threat to NATO allies’ security.

“Terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, is the most direct asymmetric threat to the security of our citizens and to international peace and prosperity,” the declaration said, adding that the threats NATO faces are global and interconnected.

NATO also addressed the systemic challenges posed by China to Euro-Atlantic security, citing sustained malicious cyber and hybrid activities, including disinformation. The leaders called on China to uphold its commitment to act responsibly in cyberspace.

The declaration expressed concern over China’s expanding space capabilities and urged China to support international efforts to promote responsible space behavior. It also highlighted China’s rapid expansion and diversification of its nuclear arsenal, calling for China to engage in strategic risk reduction discussions and promote stability through transparency.

Despite these concerns, NATO leaders expressed openness to constructive engagement with China to build reciprocal transparency and safeguard the alliance’s security interests. “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 declaration stated.

At the summit, NATO also took steps to strengthen its deterrence and defense, bolster long-term support to Ukraine, and deepen NATO’s partnerships. “We warmly welcome President (Volodymyr) Zelenskyy of Ukraine and the leaders of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, and the European Union,” the declaration noted.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that the alliance will reinforce its partnerships in the Indo-Pacific to counter the growing alignment of Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. “We will increase our support for Ukraine by establishing a NATO coordination and security assistance and training for Ukraine, and by ensuring sustained support for the long term. Support for Ukraine is not charity. It is in our own security interest,” he said.

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