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Concerned over China’s influence, NATO’s Stoltenberg calls on transatlantic leaders to have common policy on Beijing

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Concerned over the growing military strength of Beijing, Stoltenberg also said that China has the second-largest defence budget in the world, the biggest navy, and is investing massively in new military equipment, which “affects our security.”

Brussels [Belgium], June 14: Not only the United States is jittery over the rise of China-militarily and economically, even the NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg has called the leaders of the transatlantic alliance to forge a common policy towards China, implying that the agenda of the summit in Brussels is to convey a strong message to Beijing.

Biden will display U.S.’s leading role in NATO as it will launch a joint statement focussing on China’s influence and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“China does not share our values. We see the way they crackdown democratic protest in Hong Kong, how they oppress the minorities like Uyghurs and how they use modern technology to do surveillance on its own populations, in a way we have never seen before,” Stoltenberg told Canadian public network CBC.

“It makes it important for NATO to develop a policy and strengthen a policy on China,” NATO chief added.

Concerned over the growing military influence of Beijing, Stoltenberg also said that China has the second-largest defence budget in the world, the biggest navy, and is investing massively in new military equipment, which “affects our security.”

“The rise of China is defining for our security for our transatlantic bond. Of course, the rise of China provides us an opportunity for our economies. But we need to talk to China on issues like climate change and arms control, at the same time the fact that China has the largest economy in the world, biggest navy in the world.”

US President Joe Biden is in Brussels for two days of summits with leaders from the NATO military alliance and the European Union.

Biden is due to attend the EU- US summit. He will speak to European Council president Charles Michel and the head of the European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen.

Biden will also be meeting Russian president on Wednesday in Geneva.

The just concluded G7 summit, in the Carbis Bay communique asked China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Xinjiang, where Beijing is accused of committing serious rights abuses against the Uyghurs. The statement also made reference to Beijing’s crackdown in Hong Kong.
“…we will promote our values, including by calling on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially in relation to Xinjiang and those rights, freedoms and high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law,” the communique stated.

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