NATO warns China military ambitions threaten global order
For the first time, NATO‘s transatlantic security alliance has issued a warning to China in its communique following its summit in Brussels on Monday, June 14.
For the first time, NATO tackled China’s military ambitions, stating Beijing poses “systemic threats” to the transatlantic security partnership.
The declaration is a diplomatic win for US President Joe Biden, who had encouraged the 30-nation alliance to stand up to China’s growing military, political, and economic power.
The alliance’s language will now set the tone for alliance policy, and it comes a day after the G7 nations issued a statement condemning China for alleged human rights violations in China and Hong Kong.
According to NATO’s 79-point declaration, “China’s declared objectives and forceful behavior constitute structural threats to the rules-based international order and sectors crucial to alliance security.”
It accused Beijing of “rapidly increasing its nuclear arsenal” and being “opaque in implementing its military modernisation,” while also expressing concern over China’s military cooperation with Russia in Euro-Atlantic exercises.
“In line with its position as a major power, we urge on China to uphold its international commitments and behave responsibly in the international system, especially in the space, cyber, and maritime domains,” according to the communiqué.
Following the conference, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters that there was a “solid convergence of views among partners” on the dangers posed by China’s actions.
“Leaders agreed that as an alliance, we must address these issues and work with China to protect our security interests,” he added.
Biden described the alliance’s mutual defense pact as a “holy commitment” for the US, a sharp contrast to his predecessor, Donald Trump, who threatened to leave the alliance and accused Europeans of not contributing enough to their own defense.
Angela Merkel, who attended the alliance’s final summit before stepping down in September, welcomed Biden’s entrance as the beginning of a new era. She also stated that dealing with China as a potential danger was critical.
“You can’t just discount China when it comes to cyber risks and hybrid threats, or when it comes to Russia-China cooperation,” Merkel told reporters.
“However, it is important not to overstate it; we must achieve the right balance.”
Both Russia and China, according to Biden, are not operating “in a way that is consistent with what we had hoped.”