NATO leaders issue stern warning to China in reference to rising security concerns

Then Leaders are set to issue widespread warnings to China in a sign of growing concerns in Western capitals about the impact of Beijing’s growing military and economic power on Euro-Atlantic security.

China’s activities including disinformation, military cooperation with Russia and the rapid expansion of its nuclear weapons arsenal present “systematic challenges” to the “rules-based international order,” according to the statement issued by the military alliance summit in Brussels on Monday.

The statement’s strength shows the extent to which relations between many Western countries and Beijing have deteriorated in the 18 months since NATO nations concluded their last summit with a cautious statement about the “opportunities and challenges” presented by China.

The harsh language comes as NATO leaders plot how to modernize the 72-year-old military alliance originally created by North American and European powers to fight the Soviet Union.

“China’s stated ambitions and resolute behavior present systemic challenges to the rules-based international order and to relevant areas of Alliance security,” said the statement, seen by the Financial Times and due for release later on Monday.

“We call on China to fulfill its international obligations and act responsibly in the international system, including in the aerospace, electronic and maritime fields, in line with its role as a major power.”

The statement raises concerns about China’s “coercive policies”, its stockpiling of nuclear warheads and advanced launch systems, and its participation in Russian military exercises in the Euro-Atlantic region. The NATO Group of 30 – which has its own internal divisions over China policy – says it will aim for “constructive dialogue” with Beijing “where possible”.

NATO’s criticism reflects an attempt by President Joe Biden’s administration to use his first European trip to rally allies to strike back at China. Beijing hit back at the G7’s criticism of wealthy democracies at this weekend’s summit, accusing the group of “evil intentions” and “artificially causing confrontation and friction”.

The NATO meeting in Brussels comes amid debate over how to update the Cold War-era treaty itself, as it prepares to withdraw from Afghanistan after nearly two decades.

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the summit would “sharpen” the “technological edge” of the 30-member gathering. “It’s about how we strengthen our collective defense, how we strengthen our resilience and sharpen our technological edge,” Stoltenberg told reporters at the coalition headquarters on the outskirts of the Belgian capital.

Jake Sullivan, US National Security Adviser, told reporters that heads of state and government are expected to sign off on a classified cyber defense strategy, which includes expanding existing powers to invoke the “Article 5” principle of NATO’s collective defense in cases of cyberattacks. .

“[This] It will upgrade the defense, political, and intelligence dimensions of cyberspace across the alliance.” “In the statement to be issued, there will be a strong commitment to NATO’s emphasis on cyber deterrence and collective defence.”

Speaking ahead of the summit, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson emphasized the importance of allies investing in better cyber defenses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, when hostile countries were accused of carrying out cyber attacks on allies’ health systems.

“NATO owes it to the billion people we keep safe every day to constantly adapt and evolve to meet new challenges and confront emerging threats,” Johnson said.

It was also expected that NATO leaders would go ahead with measures to enhance their collective response to satellite attacks and build capabilities in emerging technologies such as Artificial intelligenceOfficials added. NATO countries are becoming increasingly preoccupied with expanding theaters of potential conflict, from disinformation warfare to the increasing activities of China and Russia in Outer Space.

Besides facing external threats, NATO faces some chronic internal divisions, particularly between Turkey and some member states such as France in the eastern Mediterranean.

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