NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday that the alliance recognizes the challenges posed by China but did not want to “create new adversaries.”
“What we see is that the rising power of China is shifting the global balance of power and the rises of China — the economic rise, the military rise — provides some opportunities but also some serious challenges,” Stoltenberg told CNBC on Monday.
NATO’s secretary-general notes that China has recently displayed “modern military capabilities, including intercontinental long-range missiles that can reach Europe and North America,” presenting the alliance with a security dilemma. While Stoltenberg specified that NATO will not get involved in an area like the South China Sea, he notes that China has become more engaged closer to Europe.
“We see them in Africa, we see them in the Arctic, we see them in cyberspace and China now has the second-largest defence budget in the world.”
The alliance’s 29 member states do not have a strategic consensus over their strategic positioning vis-à-vis China on either an economic or a strategic level.