Raising serious concerns about China’s heavy investment in military equipment, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Chief Jens Stoltenberg said that Beijing’s actions will have a direct consequence on our security.
At a media conference, Stoltenberg said, “the military alliance does not regard China as an adversary, but of course, the rise of China has direct consequences for our security.”
“China is investing heavily in military equipment, including nuclear-capable missiles,” he added.
“More importantly, China is a country that doesn’t share our values. We see that in the way they deal with democratic protests in Hong Kong, how they suppress minorities in their own country, the Uyghurs, and also how they actually try to undermine the international rules-based order,” he added.
Earlier this month, Stoltenberg called for the United States and European Union to repair their alliance if they are to deal with the bullying of countries all over the world by China.
He described China’s behaviour as “undermining the rule of law” and he welcomed President Joe Biden’s clear commitment to “rebuilding alliances and strengthening NATO”.
NATO, a military alliance between 30 European and North American countries, has repeatedly threatened to withdraw from the group, claiming that European members were not paying their way.
The NATO chief said that Europe is not big enough, the United States is not big enough. But together Brussels and Washington represent 50 per cent of the world’s GDP and 50 per cent of the world’s military market.
“So, if you’re concerned about the rise of China, the military and economic strength of China, that makes it even more important that we stand together, Europe and North America in NATO,” Stoltenberg said.
In December, in its report ‘NATO 2030 – United for a New Era report’, it said that the organisation must devote more time, political resources, and action to counter the security challenges posed by China.