A top Chinese official on Friday addressed the UN Security Council and urged NATO to lose its Cold War mentality and stop provoking countries around the world and playing the role of “troublemaker.”
Zhang Jun, China’s ambassador to the UN, repeated Beijing’s earlier comment that the Ukraine War could have been avoided if NATO stopped moving closer to Russia’s border, which was seen as a red line by Russia.
He called out NATO for contradicting itself by claiming to be a defensive alliance. (See “AUSTRALIAN PM PRAISES NATO-AFFILIATED ‘ASIA-PACIFIC FOUR’,” 5 Jul 2022.)
“Pursuing absolute security and political exclusion and containment by force against a specific party is the very crux of the reason why Europe is in the security plight,” he said, according to RT, the Russian news outlet. “Europe, and even the whole world, will be caught up in greater turmoil” unless the alliance takes a new position in global affairs.
Jun also said countries should pursue the cause of “common good.”
“Only when all countries pursue the cause of the common good, live in harmony, and engage in cooperation, will there be a bright future for humankind. There is the need to respect each other’s legitimate security concerns, rather than bloc politics or exclusive small circles,” Jun said.
Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary-general, said Saturday that Beijing is watching the outcome of the Ukraine War, and if Russian President Vladimir Putin wins there, “of course, that will impact their decisions on how to behave in Asia.”
“What happens in Europe, in Ukraine, matters for Asia, and what happens in Asia matters for Europe,” he said at the Munich Security Conference, according to CNBC.
“The most important lesson from the war in Ukraine is that North America and Europe must stand together,” he said.
In May, Jun told the UN that NATO’s expansion towards Russia “sowed the seeds of conflict” prior to the conflict. He said the alliance’s eastward expansion after the Cold War “not only failed to make Europe any safer, it also sowed the seeds of conflict.”
TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal reported in 2016 that “forward positions in Ukraine, Georgia, and the Baltic States are hundreds of miles further east than the Oder-Neisse border between Germany and Poland, where U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush solemnly promised Soviet and Russian leaders Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin that NATO would halt its expansion more than a quarter-century ago.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that Western countries broke promises not to expand NATO as the Soviet Union collapsed. But Voice of America pointed out that the Alliance jumped from 16 to 30 members and has shown the willingness to act militarily. The report pointed out that NATO waged a “brutal bombing campaign against former Yugoslavia and Libya, two countries that never attacked Alliance members.”
As NATO’s first secretary-general put it, NATO was formed in order to keep the Russians out of Western Europe and the Americans in. Instead of disbanding NATO when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Washington dramatically expanded NATO.
In violation of the Reagan-Gorbachev agreements, the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush regimes added constituent parts of the former Soviet empire to NATO—Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania.
France, taken out of NATO by General de Gaulle, rejoined in April 2009, 18 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, followed by other nations including Croatia, Albania, Montenegro, and North Macedonia.
When the Soviet Union broke up, and the U.S. said it would not expand NATO, there were 16 NATO nations. Today there are 30… with some of them on Russia’s borders.
Long forgotten was the U.S. and NATO’S pledge not to expand into Eastern Europe following the deal made during the 1990 negotiations between the West and the Soviet Union over German unification.
Therefore, in the view of Russia, it is taking self-defense actions to protect itself from NATO’s eastward march.
As detailed in The Los Angeles Times back in May of 2016, while the U.S. and NATO deny that no such agreement was struck, “…hundreds of memos, meeting minutes and transcripts from U.S. archives indicate otherwise.”
The article states:
“According to transcripts of meetings in Moscow on Feb. 9, then-Secretary of State James Baker suggested that in exchange for cooperation on Germany, the U.S. could make ‘iron-clad guarantees’ that NATO would not expand ‘one inch eastward.’ Less than a week later, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to begin reunification talks.
No formal deal was struck, but from all the evidence, the quid pro quo was clear: Gorbachev acceded to Germany’s western alignment and the U.S. would limit NATO’s expansion.”