Nikkei Asia
February 1, 2023

NATO chief says China has ‘no justification’ for Taiwan threats
Stoltenberg warns that any Beijing move will trigger ‘severe consequences’

Any attempt by China to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait will cause “severe consequences” for regional and global security, NATO’s secretary general said Wednesday.

In an interview with Nikkei Asia in Tokyo, Jens Stoltenberg said the bloc is concerned about China’s threatening rhetoric and “coercive behavior” in the Taiwan Strait. He stressed that preventing Beijing from using military power was crucial.


Any attempt by China to try to change the status quo by the use of military force will have severe consequences for East Asia. But it will also have consequences for NATO allies and for global security.”

These remarks come as the 30-member bloc of Western nations becomes increasingly concerned about Beijing’s growing clout. The organization mentioned China for the first time in its strategic concept document last year, noting the country is posing “systemic challenges” to Euro-Atlantic security.

“…NATO allies would have been remiss if we didn’t expose what China does and the consequences for our security,” he said.

It is important to “avoid any change of the status quo and have forced unification by the use of military power,” he said. “That’s the message to China.”

Against this backdrop, NATO also has deepening ties with Asia-Pacific nations, including Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

Before arriving in Tokyo, the NATO chief stopped in South Korea to meet President Yoon Suk-yeol. He also met Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday in Tokyo, where they pledged to strengthen ties.

Stoltenberg said that NATO “welcomes” Japan’s plan to increase its defense budget.


Associated Press
February 1, 2023

NATO chief wants more ‘friends’ as Russia, China move closer

China’s growing assertiveness and collaboration with Russia pose a challenge not only to Asia but also to Europe, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday as he sought stronger cooperation and more “friends” for NATO in the Indo-Pacific region.


“The fact that Russia and China are coming closer and the significant investments by China and new advanced military capabilities just underlines that China poses a threat, poses a challenge also to NATO allies,” Stoltenberg told an audience at Keio University in Tokyo. “Security is not regional but global.”

“NATO needs to make sure we have friends,” he said. “It is important to work more closely with our partners in the Indo-Pacific.”


Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning defended China as “a force for regional and global peace and stability” and criticized NATO for labeling China a threat and for expanding its military ties to Asia.

“NATO has constantly sought to reach beyond its traditional defense zone and scope, strengthen military and security ties with Asia Pacific countries and played up China’s threats,” Mao said. “I would like to stress that the Asia-Pacific is not a battlefield for the geopolitical contest and does not welcome the Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation.”