Sec Def: NATO ‘Troubled’ by China’s Support for Russian War in Ukraine

Sec Def: NATO ‘Troubled’ by China’s Support for Russian War in Ukraine
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin delivers remarks during a NATO public forum as part of the 2024 NATO Summit in Washington on July 10, 2024. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON—NATO member states are becoming increasingly concerned by communist China’s support for Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The deep links connecting Atlantic and Pacific security mean that the world’s largest military alliance is focusing more tightly on the issue than in previous years, according to U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

“I know that we’re all troubled by China’s support for Putin’s war in Ukraine,” Mr. Austin said during the July 10 annual NATO summit in Washington.

“But that just reminds us of the profound link between Euro-Atlantic security and Indo-Pacific security.”

Describing Russian attempts to seize the provinces of eastern Ukraine and demilitarize the nation as an “imperial” enterprise and “major land grab,” Mr. Austin said that China’s support for Russia has major implications for global security.

“Any attempt to undermine NATO only undermines American security,” Mr. Austin said.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, “China is the main enabler” of Russian aggression in Europe and that the regime will not be able to continue normal relations with NATO if it continues as such.

“They cannot have it both ways,” Mr. Stoltenberg said. “They cannot believe that they can have a normal relationship with NATO allies in North America and Europe and then continue to fuel the war in Europe that constitutes the biggest challenge to our security since the Second World War.”

Mr. Stoltenberg said that NATO will need to increase its cooperation and alignment with strategic partners in the Indo-Pacific.

Likewise, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken added that there is “more convergence” among NATO allies and international partners on the issue of China than ever before.

“Precisely because these challenges are joined, dealing with some of the problems posed by China requires this work with, alignment with, and convergence with Europe as well as Asia,” he said.

That sentiment has growing bipartisan support in Congress. Earlier this week, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) condemned what he described as Russia’s attempt to restore the Russian Empire and China’s ambition to conquer Taiwan.

Both nations, he said, are part of a network of authoritarian and anti-American powers.

“I refer to it as a China-led axis, composed of partner regimes in Russia, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, [and] even Cuba,” Mr. Johnson said during a July 8 talk at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank.

Mr. Johnson said it is “very important” for the United States to support and maintain the NATO alliance, and that he is “encouraged” by the efforts of the NATO nations to spend more on defense.

To prevent the spread of conflict in Europe and even on the home front, Mr. Johnson said it is vital that Russia is stopped in Ukraine.

“If we don’t stop it there, it will come here.”

From The Epoch Times