Brussels, Jun 14 (EFE).- NATO will not enter a cold war with China but must respond to its military rise and coercive behavior, Secretary General of the transatlantic Alliance Jens Stoltenberg said Monday ahead of the NATO summit.
“We are not entering a new cold war and China is not our adversary, not our enemy, but we need to address together as an Alliance the challenges that China poses to our security,” Stoltenberg said.
“China’s military build-up, growing influence and coercive behavior poses some challenges,” he said.
As well as China’s significant build-up on weapon systems including heavy investment in nuclear capabilities, the Asian superpower does not share NATO’s values, according to the Norwegian politician.
“We see how they crackdown on democratic protests involving Hong Kong and also persecute minorities in their own countries and use modern technology, social media, facial recognition to monitor and surveillance their own population in a way we have never seen before,” he said.
“China is coming closer to us, we see them in cyberspace, we see China in Africa, in the Arctic, but we also see China investing heavily in our own cryptical infrastructure and trying to control it.”
“No country and no continent can manage, deal with this alone so therefore we need to respond together as an Alliance, as NATO,” Stoltenberg urged.
Despite the risks that China poses, there are some opportunities that NATO must engage with.
“There are of course opportunities and we need to engage with China on issues like climate change, arms control,” the Secretary General said.
Stoltenberg said that unlike previous NATO summits where China was not on the agenda, this year’s 2030 Agenda would tackle China in depth for allies to agree on a clear and united position.