China Appears to Issue Odd Warning to NATO

( – Chinese media warned in early February that NATO could provoke a global conflict. The remarks come as tension heightens between the defense organization and Russia, and NATO embarks on its first military exercises in more than 35 years.

“Steadfast Defender 2024” brings together 90,000 troops from NATO countries and Sweden in training exercises that began in January and will continue through May. NATO officials said the exercises allow the member countries to plan responses and prepare for a Russian invasion of NATO territory.

The Chinese article, published in the Global Times, an English-speaking publication controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, cited a recent visit by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to the United States, during which he argued for NATO “readiness” and called for investment in defense.

The Global Times opinion piece read, “Clearly, this is not just about NATO seeking funds. This is a clear preparation of public opinion to expand the Russia-Ukraine conflict into a world war.”

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushk said in January that NATO is returning to the Cold War era and accused the West of waging warfare against his country. He noted that exercises of the size and scale of NATO’s latest clearly indicate that conflict is on its way. “The military planning process, resources, and infrastructure are being prepared for confrontation with Russia,” he said.

Meanwhile, Britain has begun its first nuclear weapons testing since 2016, and plans to locate American weapons in Britain are progressing. In March last year, the Department of Defense published a document stating it had earmarked $50 million to construct a facility inside the UK for storage of US nuclear missiles.

Tensions between the West and Russia are increasing as the Kremlin cements its relationship with China. Last October, President Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping met in Beijing and described a “deep friendship” between them. The two leaders have met more than 40 times since Xi became Chinese President in 2012.

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