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Friday, January 27, 2023

NATO Concerned about China’s “rapid” Military Expansion, Says Blinken

Meanwhile, NATO is still committed to maintaining its unwavering support for Ukraine

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UNITED STATES: According to US Secretary of state Antony Blinken, Nato countries have explored practical solutions to Beijing’s problems as a result of Beijing’s rapid and covert military expansion and cooperation with Russia.

After a two-day gathering of the defense alliance’s foreign ministers, Blinken said at a news conference on Wednesday, “The members of our alliance remain concerned by the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China] coercive policies, by its use of disinformation, by its rapid, opaque military buildup, including its cooperation with Russia.”

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

Blinken’s comments came after reports from both South Korea and Moscow that Chinese and Russian strategic warplanes, including Tupolev-95 long-range “Bear” bombers, had conducted joint patrols over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea.

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South Korea, a close ally of the US, also claimed that it had scrambled fighter jets as two Chinese and six Russian warplanes entered its air defense zone.

They also followed a Pentagon analysis predicting that, at its present rate of nuclear building, China would likely have a stockpile of 1,500 nuclear weapons by 2035, reflecting growing US fears about Beijing’s intentions for its growing arsenal.

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Just days before Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February, China and Russia frightened the United States and its allies by pledging a “no limits” strategic relationship.

Since then, South Korea and its neighbor Japan have grown closer to NATO; they sent arms to Poland this year, a neighbor of Russia and a member of the alliance, and they sent observers to the June Nato summit.

According to Blinken, while NATO is still committed to maintaining its unwavering support for Ukraine, members also want to strengthen the alliance’s resilience by considering new threats, such as those posed by China.

Without going into further detail, Blinken stated, “What we spoke about today is, again, making sure that we are working to adapt in concrete ways to meet the challenge.”

The United States and its allies are aware of a race to reshape the globe beyond the divisions created by the Cold War.

Also Read: US Secretary of State Blinken and Indian EAM Jaishankar Discusses Ukraine with His Indian Counterpart

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