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NATO: China has become 'decisive enabler' of war in Ukraine

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at the NATO summit in Washington, 10. July 2024.
Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at the NATO summit in Washington, 10. July 2024. Copyright Matt Rourke/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Matt Rourke/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews with AP
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It is the first time all the group's allies have stated this so clearly in a statement approved by all 32 members of the alliance at the NATO summit in Washington.


In their most serious rebuke against Beijing, NATO allies on Wednesday called China a “decisive enabler” of Russia's war against Ukraine and expressed concerns over Beijing's nuclear arsenal and its capabilities in space.

The sternly worded final communiqué, approved by the 32 NATO members at their summit in Washington, makes clear that China is becoming a focus of the military alliance.

The European and North American members and their partners in the Indo-Pacific increasingly see shared security concerns coming from Russia and its Asian supporters, especially China.

Beijing insists that it does not provide military aid to Russia but has maintained strong trade ties with its northern neighbour throughout the conflict. It also accuses NATO of overreaching and inciting confrontation in the Indo-Pacific region.

In the communiqué, NATO member countries said China has become a war enabler through its “no-limits partnership” with Russia and its large-scale support for Russia's defence industrial base.

“This increases the threat Russia poses to its neighbours and to Euro-Atlantic security. We call on the PRC, as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council with a particular responsibility to uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, to cease all material and political support to Russia’s war effort,” read the communiqué, which referred to China by the abbreviation of its official name, the People's Republic of China.

“The PRC cannot enable the largest war in Europe in recent history without this negatively impacting its interests and reputation,” the document says.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said China provides equipment, microelectronics and tools that are “enabling Russia to build the missiles, to build the bombs, to build the aircraft, to build the weapons they use to attack Ukraine.”

He said it was the first time all NATO allies have stated this so clearly in an agreed document.

The Chinese embassy in Washington on Wednesday said China is neither a creator of nor a party to the Ukraine crisis. “China does not provide weapons to the parties to the conflict and strictly controls the export of dual-use articles, which is widely applauded by the international community,” said Liu Pengyu, the embassy spokesman.

He said China's normal trade with Russia is “done above board” and “beyond reproach.”

'NATO must not fall behind Russia'

In Washington, where leaders of NATO nations are convening this week to mark the coalition's 75th anniversary, President Joe Biden said the alliance must not fall behind Russia, which is ramping up weapon production with the help of China, North Korea and Iran.

Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea have sent their leaders or deputies to the NATO summit in Washington this week. They are partners, not members, of the alliance.

In the final declaration, NATO members affirmed the importance of the Indo-Pacific partners to the alliance and said they were “strengthening dialogue to tackle cross-regional challenges.”

NATO and the Indo-Pacific partners plan to launch four projects to support Ukraine, bolster cooperation on cyber defence, counter disinformation and work on artificial intelligence. The NATO members said these projects would “enhance our ability to work together on shared security interests.”

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