Norwegian NATO Secretary-General on China: The balance of power is changing

Norwegian NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warns of China’s increasing military presence and during a recent episode of STV’s TV Program ‘Utrikesbyrån’ (the Foreign Office) he said that the country’s power continues to increase. “The country is trying to influence political processes in the outside world and their new weapon system can reach the whole of Europe,” he said.

Global concerns are rising about the world’s largest defense budget and soon the world’s largest economy. This, combined with Xi Jinping’s warning Joe Biden not to “play with fire” on the issue of Taiwan. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg shares the concern and believes that dialogue is the only way forward.

“We want to talk to China, about the climate issue or disarmament control,” he said.

Although Jens Stoltenberg believes that China affects the security situation in the world, he sees no immediate risk of a military conflict.

“We do not see China as an enemy and there is no immediate danger of a military attack from China. But the fact that China is growing both militarily and economically means that the balance of power is changing.”

At the same time, he believes that there are other threats from China than the military.

“We have seen how China has tried to influence political processes in both Sweden and Norway. This indicates that China is gaining more and more economic and military muscle and this is affecting our security,” he said.

The conflict between China and Taiwan has created a lot of attention lately. China and Xi Jinping have stated that Taiwan will never become independent but instead be reunited with China, even if it requires a military attack.

Speaking on the matter, Jens Stoltenberg believes that NATO must do everything possible to dampen tensions between the two countries.

“China has in recent months on several occasions threatened Taiwan. We must make sure to lower the tone and seek talks to avoid a military conflict,” he said. 

About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

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