NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, affirmed yesterday that the Alliance is acting “lucidly” in the face of the challenge posed by China, after the discussion held by the foreign ministers of the member countries regarding the military strength of that country.
In recent years, the alliance has become increasingly concerned about increasing military power in Beijing, in parallel with increasing US pressure on its European allies not to downplay its potential threat.
At the June summit, NATO leaders evoked for the first time “the systematic challenges” posed by China and its close ties with Russia. “The challenges we face are global, and we must meet them together within NATO,” Stoltenberg said.
“We do not consider China as an adversary,” he added. “We will continue to dialogue with them when it is in our interest, especially to convey our position on the illegality of Russia’s war in Ukraine,” she added. Stoltenberg also explained that the ministers had discussed “the development of Beijing’s ambitious military plans, its technological capacity and the increase in cyber and hybrid activity.”
China’s control of critical infrastructure in NATO countries and its potential reliance on raw materials and strategic technologies from Beijing are raising concerns.
“We are going to continue to trade and engage economically with China,” the NATO Secretary General declared. “But we need to be aware of those dependencies, reduce our vulnerability and manage risks.” The American Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, declared for his part that there was a “growing convergence” with the European allies in this regard.
“We are not seeking conflict with China. On the contrary, we want to avoid it. We do not want a new cold war. Nor will it decouple our economies.”