NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Photo/Japan Times
TOKYO – Secretary General (Secretary General) NATO Jens Stoltenberg said China closely watched the war Russia in Ukraine and learn lessons that may influence his future decisions. He emphasized warnings about China’s behavior including its threats against Taiwan.
“If President Putin wins in Ukraine, it will send a message that authoritarian regimes can achieve their goals through violence. This is dangerous,” Stoltenberg said at a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo.
“What happened in Europe today could happen in East Asia tomorrow,” he added as quoted by Al Arabiya, Wednesday (1/2/2023).
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sparked fears in Japan that China could dare do something similar to Taiwan, a move Tokyo says directly affects its own security.
At the press conference, Stoltenberg emphasized that NATO and Japan both agree that transatlantic and Indo-Pacific security are inextricably linked.
Read: Japan-NATO Promises to Respond Firmly to Chinese and Russian Threats
“What’s happening in the region matters to NATO,” he added.
Europe is increasingly aware of the increasing security threat that China poses in various arenas, especially in the long term. The NATO chief repeated warnings about China’s attempts to build up its military and nuclear weapons, as well as what he described as intimidating behavior towards its neighbors and attempts to control critical infrastructure while spreading disinformation about the alliance.
“We reiterated that we will take Japan-NATO cooperation to a new level, concretely by developing cyber relations,” Kishida said in turn.
“We welcome NATO’s interest and involvement in the Indo Pacific. Japan will set up a NATO representative office and consider taking part in regular NATO meetings,” Kishida added.