Saturday, May 18, 2024

China must stop aiding Russia if it seeks good relations with West, NATO says

Must read

China must stop supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine if it wants to enjoy good relations with the West, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday, warning Beijing in unusually harsh words it cannot have it both ways.

FILE PHOTO: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a press conference, at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, April 4, 2024. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/Pool/File Photo(REUTERS)

During a visit to Berlin, the chief of the Western military alliance said Beijing’s help was vital to Moscow’s war effort as it was propping up Russia’s war economy by sharing high-end technology like semiconductors.

HT launches Crick-it, a one stop destination to catch Cricket, anytime, anywhere. Explore now!

“Last year, Russia imported 90% of its microelectronics from China, used to produce missiles, tanks and aircraft. China is also working to provide Russia with improved satellite capabilities and imaging,” Stoltenberg said.

“China says it wants good relations with the West. At the same time, Beijing continues to fuel the largest armed conflict in Europe since World War Two. They cannot have it both ways,” he warned.

Stoltenberg cautioned Western allies against becoming as dependent on China as they had been on Russia.

“In the past, we made the mistake of becoming dependent on Russian oil and gas,” he said.

“We must not repeat that mistake with China. Depending on its money, its raw materials, its technologies – dependencies make us vulnerable.”

China has strengthened trade and military ties with Russia in recent years as the United States and its allies imposed sanctions on both, but particularly Moscow for the invasion of Ukraine.

China-Russian trade hit a record of $240.1 billion in 2023, up 26.3% from a year earlier, Chinese customs data shows. Chinese shipments to Russia jumped 46.9% in 2023 while imports from Russia rose 13%.

Last month, Reuters reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin will travel to China in May for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, in what could be the first overseas trip of his new presidential term.

Latest article