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10 Jun, 2020 14:17

The Chinese are coming: NATO chief Stoltenberg warns Beijing nearing West in multiple ways

The Chinese are coming: NATO chief Stoltenberg warns Beijing nearing West in multiple ways

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said the West “cannot ignore” either the military or economic rise of China, and admitted that the world is “facing a shift in the global balance of power.”

Speaking to BBC Radio on Wednesday, Stoltenberg said Beijing was creeping closer to the West in multiple ways: through cyberspace, telecommunications, critical infrastructure and in Arctic exploration.

“We cannot ignore the consequences of the rise of China. China will soon have the biggest economy in the world. They already have the second largest defense budget,” he warned.

The head of the Western military alliance also said it was important that Britain reviewed the role of Chinese tech giant Huawei in its 5G network to guarantee its security. He said he trusts that the UK government will design its 5G networks in a way that ensures they will remain protected and “secure.”

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been heavily criticized over a decision to allow Huawei to help build Britain’s 5G network.

Asked about Stoltenberg’s comments, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that China does not pose a threat to any country and that she hopes NATO can view its development “rationally,” Reuters reported.

Stoltenberg noted that Beijing is investing “heavily” in modern military capabilities and has added 80 ships to its navy in just the past five years, which is equal to the total number of ships belonging to the UK’s Royal Navy.

“China is becoming a more and more important military power and we have to address that,” he said, adding that NATO must ensure it remains a “strong force in the future” as it faces a “shift in the global balance of power.”

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