NATO chief: China must cease support for Russia to maintain good Western relations

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in a Eurofighter aircraft during the April 25 Laage base visit, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in a Eurofighter aircraft during the April 25 Laage base visit, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

If China wants to have good relations with the West, it must stop supporting Russia in its war against Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during his speech at the Atlantik-Brücke (Atlantic Bridge) event in Berlin on April 25.

“Russia's friends in Asia are crucial to its war effort, with China at the forefront,” Stoltenberg said, highlighting that Beijing has been supplying high-end technology and dual-use items such as semiconductors to Russia. “Last year, Russia imported 90 percent of its micro-electronics from China, which are used to produce missiles, tanks, and aircraft.”

This support, he noted, “enables Moscow to inflict more death and destruction on Ukraine, strengthens Russia's defense industrial base, and helps it evade the impact of sanctions and export controls.”

“China cannot claim to want good relations with the West while it continues to fuel the largest armed conflict in Europe since World War II. They cannot have it both ways,” Stoltenberg asserted.

On April 19, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that China had cemented itself as the main supplier of critically important components for Russia’s military-industrial complex.

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According to him, Beijing supplies machinery, semiconductors, and other dual-use goods that have enabled Russia to rebuild its defense industry. The secretary said Washington has clearly communicated to Beijing that it should not provide assistance to Moscow that sustains its aggression in Ukraine.

On April 16. Chinese leader Xi Jinping outlined "four principles to prevent the Ukraine crisis from spiraling out of control and to restore peace" during a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

In February 2023, China proposed a “peace plan” to stop the war in Ukraine, which called for direct negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv, without any notion of Russia withdrawing its troops from occupied Ukrainian territory.

In March 2024, Chinese diplomats reiterated Beijing’s position, saying that the conflict would have to be resolved through negotiations that need to “take Russian interests into account.”

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