Leaders of NATO member states must forge a stronger common policy in the face of China’s growing dominanceThe Secretary-General of the Military Alliance said, on Sunday, on the eve of the organization’s summit in Brussels.
In an interview with Canadian public radio CBC, Jens Stoltenberg emphasized that China has the second largest defense budget in the world, the largest naval power and is investing heavily in new military equipment, which “affects our security.”
“China does not share our values. We see it in the way they suppress democratic protests in Hong Kong, how they persecute minorities like the Uyghurs” in western China, and how they use modern technology to monitor their population “in a way never seen before.”Stoltenberg justified.
“All of this makes it important for NATO to strengthen our policy when it comes to China,” he stressed.
The Secretary-General’s words come a few hours after the conclusion of the G7 summit in Great Britain at which the group (made up of Germany, Canada, the United States, France, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom) took a stronger position. towards China.
The two countries ask Beijing to “respect human rights and fundamental freedoms” and allow freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.
Stoltenberg also argued that it was important for other countries to engage with China on common issues such as climate change and arms control.
NATO Secretary General It also considered the arrest in China of two Canadian citizens, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, on espionage charges “totally unacceptable.”
Ottawa called the detention of the two men “arbitrary” and believes it was in retaliation for Canada’s arrest, at the request of the United States, a senior executive of Chinese telecom giant Huawei.
“When a country does something it doesn’t like, it reacts aggressively,” Stoltenberg said of China.
The senior official acknowledged that there were moments of tension within NATO during the administration of US tycoon Donald Trump. But he saw that the alliance was still “very strong and strong”. The former Republican president protested because he considered that other countries’ contributions to NATO were unfair, and he even considered exiting the United States from the alliance.
But Stoltenberg has now said, “We have an American president, President Biden, who is deeply committed to NATO, to Europe’s security, and is ready to increase investment in NATO.”
The US president arrived in Brussels from Britain on Sunday for Monday’s NATO summit.