Finland’s accession to NATO poses a direct threat to St. Peter-sburg and puts an end to the non-nuclear status of the Baltic. The former h-ead of the Center for In-ternational Security Co-operation of the Ministry of Defense of the People’s Republic of China, Senior Colonel Zhou Bo, came to this conclusion in an article in the Economist magazine. China has repeatedly warned the world community against further NATO expansion. About why this worries Beijing – in the material RIA Novosti.
Finnish President Sauli Niiniste and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Thursday that the application for NATO membership should be submitted without delay. In their opinion, joining the alliance will strengthen the security of the state. The Government of Sweden at a meeting on May 16 will approve a similar decision. Thus, Russia’s Scandinavian neighbors are abandoning their neutrality. This worries not only Moscow, but also Beijing.
“Allied troops will be at arm’s length from St. Petersburg,” writes Zhou Bo. “But the more popular NATO, the less security in Europe. If the main fear is Russian nuclear weapons, why tirelessly tease Vladimir Putin? Security that is now in the past is possible only in cooperation with Russia”.
At the same time, Zhou Bo stressed that the armed conflict in Ukraine opened a second wind for NATO. So, in February, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz created a special defense fund of 100 billion euros and announced that Berlin would spend two percent of GDP per year on defense – in accordance with the requirement of Brussels.
Other members of the alliance also promised to increase military spending. According to the Chinese expert, this will have a detrimental effect not only on European, but also on world security.
Military and economic threat
China seems to be far away, there are no special disputes with NATO countries, economic ties with the West are very close. Why is Beijing so opposed to the expansion of the North Atlantic bloc?
“The fact is that the expansion at the expense of Finland and Sweden is not a consequence of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine,” says military expert Alexei Leonkov. “T-hey have been drawn into the alliance since the 19-90s, when the Partnership for Peace program was launched.” since then, the entire political and military elite of these countries has completely changed to pro-Western and pro-American. Let me remind you that in 2020, Jens Stoltenberg, ta-lking about the new NATO strategy until 2030, stressed that this is no longer only a European military alliance. Representatives of Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and Australia regularly travel to Brussels for summits. They do not even think to hide that they want to expand their sphere of influence to all continents. Naturally, this worries Beijing.”
Leonkov added that China views NATO expansion as an economic threat as well. Beijing is closely watching how the United States, under the pretext of military assistance to Ukr-aine, is forcing European allies to give up Soviet weapons, promising to send American ones in return.
The Pentagon plans to g-et Finland and Sweden hoo-ked on their own weapons. Washington is pumping up its own military-industrial complex with additional orders, strengthening its economic power and increasing its competitive advantages over Beijing in the international arena. Of course, rapidly developing China does not like this.
The expert recalled: Putin and Xi Jinping in Beijing on February 4 confirmed the strategic partnership of the two superpowers, coordination of efforts in the international arena, and called the US a hegemon and a global minority.
China and Russia are re-ady to stand together “aga-inst the actions of external forces to undermine security and stability in common adjacent regions.” In fact, Beijing has directly stated to the West that it will not tolerate military bases near its borders, and in this it is in full solidarity with Mo-scow. NATO sees China as a potential adversary. Two years ago, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg pointed out that close cooperation between Moscow and Beijing is a serious threat to Brussels.
At the same time, NATO does not like the fact that China will soon “become the largest economy in the world,” as well as the fact that China has “the second largest defense budget,” “significant investments in modern military potential.” In particular, in missiles that “can reach all member countries of the alliance.”
Stoltenberg noted that China is active in cyberspace, is expanding its presence in the Arctic and Africa, and is also ahead of the West in building the infrastructure of 5G information networks. And it is increasingly cooperating with Russia, which is “rapidly building up its military power.” This is a direct threat, so the alliance must respond to China’s growing influence and Beijing’s friendship with Moscow.