NATO is finally talking about China, and there are 3 big problems it has to address
- NATO leaders gathered in London this week for a summit marking the alliance's 70th anniversary.
- Many of the longstanding problems facing the alliance were under discussion, but the agenda also included a relatively new challenge: China.
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The NATO leaders summit that ended Wednesday featured many of the debates that have come up before in the alliance's 70-year history, but there was also a newer topic on the agenda: China."That's a relatively new addition for the alliance, to start thinking about the security challenges that China poses to the alliance," Andrea Kendall-Taylor, director of the Center for a New American Security's Transatlantic Security Program, said on a conference call Monday.Advertisement
"This is clearly something that's being led by the US, who has turned and is focusing on China as our most strategic challenge in the coming decades," Kendall-Taylor added. "So it's the Americans I think who will slowly kind of continue to push the issue, and we do see that there has been some response from the Europeans, but in the NATO context this is something that's a bit newer."
The London Declaration, issued by the heads of NATO member states after the summit, only mentioned China once, saying the alliance recognizes "China's growing influence and international policies present both opportunities and challenges that we need to address together as an Alliance."But there are three specific issues where Beijing could create problems for to NATO and for European security.
1. NATO's mobility in Europe.
2. Supply chains.Advertisement
5G networks, and the role of Chinese firm Huawei in them, has been a major point of contention.
3. The political cohesion that undergirds NATO itself.Advertisement
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