NATO Foreign Ministers and their partners in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand, had a two-day meeting in the Belgian capital on April 6-7.

In response to China’s failure to condemn Russia’s war in Ukraine, NATO members agreed on April 7 to enhance “practical and political cooperation.”

Top diplomats from Georgia, Sweden, Finland, and the European Union attended this meeting.

At a news conference, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said, “We agreed to step up cooperation with our partners in the Asia-Pacific because the crisis has global ramifications.”

Stoltenberg added that China’s unwillingness to denounce Russia’s military assault in Ukraine poses “a serious challenge to us all.” Therefore, it’s crucial to stand together to “protect our values.”

The practical and political cooperation between NATO and its Asia-Pacific partners includes several areas, such as cyber, new technology, and countering disinformation.

Stoltenberg stated, “We will also work more closely together in other areas such as maritime security, climate change and resilience because global challenges demand global solutions.”

Previously, the ministerial meeting on April 6 further discussed NATO’s New Strategic Concept to deal with Russia and the security consequences of a more powerful China, which threatens the rules-based international order and democratic values.

The NATO foreign ministers’ meeting came after the Russian army’s alleged killing of civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha and new sanctions by the United States and Western allies against Russia.

Jens Stoltenberg said the meeting discussed NATO’s New Strategic Concept, a roadmap for how NATO can respond to a more dangerous world, and how to protect and defend all NATO allies.

Stoltenberg said, “In the Strategic Concept we need to address the security consequences of Russia’s aggressive actions, of the shifting global balance of power, the security consequences of a much stronger China, and the challenges Russia and China are posing together to our rules based international order and our democratic values.”

When asked by reporters about the purpose of inviting Japan to participate in the meeting, Stoltenberg said, “the fact that China now has the second largest defence budget in the world, it’s investing heavily in new modern military equipments. And therefore we need also to work together with our partners in the Asia Pacific. Also to work together on issues like maritime security, cyber, and other areas where we have common interest, Japan and NATO to work together.”

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.