Business & Economy

Nato chief caps off Asia visit with cooperation pledge in Japan

Tokyo, Jan 31 (EFE).- Nato leader Jens Stoltenberg has reaffirmed the Atlantic alliance’s commitment to cooperation with Japan and South Korea in the face of the challenges posed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as well as China’s growing military influence in the Asia-Pacific region.

Stoltenberg joined Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida for a Tokyo press conference Tuesday, a day after meeting with South Korean officials to deliver a similar message during his tour of the region.

“The world is at a historical inflection point in the most severe and complex security environment since the end of World War II,” a joint statement read.

“Your strategy recognizes that China’s behavior is a matter of serious concern. Nato agrees,” Stoltenberg said at the presser.

“China is substantially building up its military forces, including nuclear weapons, bullying its neighbors and threatening Taiwan, trying to control critical infrastructure and spreading disinformation about Nato and the war in Ukraine.”

He added: “China is not our adversary but we must understand the scale of the challenge and work together to address it.”

The Nato leader said China was watching Russia’s war in Ukraine “closely.”

“If (Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin wins in Ukraine, this would send a message that authoritarian regimes can achieve their goals through brute force. This is dangerous,” he said, thanking Japan for its support for Ukraine.

During his visit to South Korea on Monday, the Norwegian urged authorities to continue and boost their military support for Kyiv in what was construed as a call for Seoul to provide weapons.

Stoltenberg’s visit to the Asia Pacific region also served to heap focus on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and its supply of arms to Russia, as alleged by the US and Nato.

Pyongyang has repeatedly denied the accusations and on Monday protested the presence of Stoltenberg in South Korea, saying it was a “prelude to war.” EFE


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