Defense ministers from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member countries met this week in Washington, where Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned of the regime’s technological advances in armaments and nuclear systems, noting the need to strengthen the military alliance over the next decade to meet new challenges.
While the issue of China was not on the agenda of the meeting, before it ended, Stoltenberg raised the question of how NATO should respond to the challenges posed in the wake of the communist regime’s great military and economic development.
“We see the whole global balance of power is shifting because of the rise of China,” Jens Stoltenberg told reporters Thursday at a press conference in Brussels.
The debate comes as the Chinese regime has advanced its ambitions for global dominance, having reportedly gained the upper hand in key warfare technologies such as hypersonic and long-range missiles.
During an interview published by the Financial Times, Stoltenberg said China’s cyber capabilities, new technologies, and long-range missiles have already affected European security.
“This region faces global challenges: terrorism, cyber but also the rise of China. So when it comes to strengthening our collective defense, that’s also about how to address the rise of China,” he said. “What we can predict is that the rise of China will impact our security. It already has.”
Next year NATO has a new summit planned that will deal with a new Strategic Concept that will indicate the organization’s direction for the next decade.
According to its secretary-general, the new strategic concept will focus on countering the threat from the Chinese regime, unlike the version described in 2010 when the Chinese regime was not posed as a real threat.
It is worth noting that NATO’s change of course reflects the more belligerent discourse by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) over the past year regarding its ambitions for global dominance.
The shift in CCP rhetoric coincides with China’s nuclear expansion, advances in hypersonic and long-range missile technology, and the regime’s increasing military pressure on Taiwan and the South China Sea, to mention a few examples.
Without giving further details, Stoltenberg said NATO will work on a strategy involving areas such as artificial intelligence and technologically advanced weapons systems, “relevant to the challenges posed by China’s rise.”
He also mentioned that these strategies will apply not only in Europe but also to challenges in the Asia Pacific, where “the rise of China makes it even more important for Europe and North America to come together in NATO.”
As part of this strategy, NATO has already made progress in strengthening its relations with partners in the Asia Pacific, including New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, and Japan.
While NATO has made good progress in its discourse against the Chinese regime and developing its strategic alliances, it is still not entirely clear how it will carry out such resistance, especially since its European members have the Chinese regime as their main economic partner.