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The NATO Secretary-General views China as a rising power and asks Europe and North America to join forces to deal with the challenge. At the same time, China considers the statement akin a cold war mentality.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg declared that Europe and North America must work together to effectively address old and emerging global challenges, including the rise of China, cyber-attacks, and cutting-edge technologies.
"Today, NATO has 30 strong allies and ensures security for nearly 1 billion people. But our Alliance continues to change as the world around us changes. And we must continue to adapt while addressing challenges, both old and new," Stoltenberg said in his speech to students at The College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.
The NATO chief adds that while China is not an "adversary" to the alliance, the EU and North America should be wary of its rising power.
"China is not our adversary. But it has the second-largest military budget in the world and does not share our values. China's rise and all these global challenges make it even more important for Europe and North America to work together," he explained.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the military alliance needs to update its decade-old strategic concept to take into account what he called Russia’s aggressive attitude and the rise of China.https://t.co/LHgsY1VDXV
On February 18, 2021, Stoltenberg called for updating NATO's Strategic Concept, last established in 2010, during the Munich Security Conference. The secretary-general noted that China containment was a crucial issue for the alliance.
China's Foreign Ministry criticized Stoltenberg's proposal, calling it a manifestation of cold war thinking and reaffirmed Beijing's commitment to peaceful development.