NATO leaders agree that China poses a constant security challenge and is undermining the global rules-based system, and they are worried about how fast it is developing its nuclear missiles.
During a summit on Monday, the NATO leaders said that China’s ambition and assertive behaviour present system challenges to the rules-based international order and areas relevant to alliance security.
The 30 heads of state and government who avoided calling China a rival, also expressed concern about its coercive policies and the opaque ways it is modernising its armed forces and its use of disinformation.
They called on Beijing to uphold its international commitments and to act responsibly in the international system, including in the space, cyber, and maritime domains, in keeping with its role as a major power. But the leaders also said that they welcome opportunities to engage with China on subjects like climate change.
The statement, endorsed Monday at their summit in Brussels, lay out the military organisation’s stance on China for the first time. Diplomats say it was one of the hardest parts of the statement to draft.