Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, a Chinese newspaper warned on Sunday that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) could expand the conflict into a “world war.”
The high tensions between Russia and NATO have seemingly escalated in recent weeks after the military alliance’s announcement last month of its largest military exercise in more than 35 years. Dubbed “Steadfast Defender 2024,” the operation launched in late January and will run through May. It ultimately will include participation of around 90,000 military personnel from 31 NATO allies and Sweden.
NATO officials have said the exercise will test the allies’ ability to quickly deploy forces and test new defense plans. Military analysts have speculated Steadfast Defender is meant to prepare alliance members for the potential of a future Russian invasion on NATO territory.
The military alliance’s announcement about the operation did not mention Russia by name, though based on documents from the military alliance obtained by Reuters, Russia is viewed as the biggest security threat to its member nations. One of the primary goals of the exercise will be to “demonstrate NATO’s ability to rapidly deploy forces from North America and other parts of the alliance to reinforce the defense of Europe.”
In a Sunday opinion piece titled, “NATO is pushing the Russia-Ukraine conflict toward a ‘world war,'” published by the Global Times, a nationalistic English-language tabloid published by the propaganda department of the ruling Communist Party, noted NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s recent visit to the United States in which he spoke about the “readiness” of NATO along with the investment in aid and defense.
“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,” Global Times‘ opinion piece read.
According to NATO’s website, Stoltenberg warned of challenges amid the war in Ukraine in a speech in Tampa, Florida, on Thursday, adding that “NATO has implemented the biggest adaptation, the biggest change for our Alliance, since the end of the Cold War with more forces on higher readiness. For the first time in our history, we have combat-ready troops in the eastern part of the Alliance. And Allies are now actually investing more in defense.”…..
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