The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will likely to address China’s emergence as a military power in its joint declaration. This is the first time that NATO, which was founded in 1949 to counter the threat by the Soviet Union, is recognizing challenges posed by China’s rise in its declaration.
During a summit meeting in London on Tuesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the rise of China has security implications for all (NATO) allies and allies need to jointly respond to China’s expansion of military power.
Stoltenberg expressed his concern for China’s growing power in the world, investing heavily in infrastructure in Europe, such as 5G communications network, as well as increasing its presence in Africa and the Arctic.
The NATO chief said China has added 80 warships and submarines to its navy for the past five years and the number is equivalent to the entire ships owned by the British navy, CNN reported. He went on to say that China has increased various weapons, including hundreds of long-range missiles that would have been prohibited by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, new supersonic cruise missiles, new drones, and hypersonic gliders. Currently, China is the third largest military power following the U.S. and Russia.
Taking these concerns into consideration, the leaders of 29 NATO member nations are set to approve a report on how the regional organization should approach China. NATO will draw up a joint declaration based on this report and announce it after the summit. The declaration will include that NATO recognizes that rise of China will present both opportunities and challenges and allies need to respond to them together.
NATO, however, will not define China as an enemy in the joint declaration. Stoltenberg stressed that NATO does not want China to be an enemy but allies need to analyze and understand the challenged posed by China and find a balanced way to respond to them.
Youn-Jong Kim firstname.lastname@example.org