NATO Aims to Address Challenges
Relations with China and Russia, the withdrawal from Afghanistan and a new strategic direction: various issues for the one-day NATO summit. US President Biden assured that the US was firmly committed to the alliance.
The relationship between his predecessor Donald Trump and NATO was complex and characterized by the America First doctrine – such as the announcement of the withdrawal from Afghanistan – and doubts about the military alliance’s usefulness. Joe Biden adopted a conciliatory tone at his first NATO summit. At the start in Brussels, Biden emphasized: “NATO is extremely important for US interests.” I want all of Europe to know that the US is here. “He called the alliance’s commitment to assistance” sacred. “NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stressed: “Today we will open a new chapter in the transatlantic relationship.”
It is crucial to demonstrate unity because the one-day deliberations of the 30 heads of state and government deal with complex issues: how to deal with up-and-coming China and the tense relationship with Russia. Stoltenberg spoke out in favour of a clear stance towards China. “China is not our adversary, not our enemy,” he said. But the alliance must jointly face the “challenges” that “the rise of China represents for our security”. Concerning China, NATO “is not entering into a new Cold War,” added Stoltenberg.
The summit’s aim should be to commission the revision of NATO’s strategic concept to meet the new challenges. NATO wants to take a unified position on the rise of China, intensify internal consultations at the political level and put its resistance to new dangers, such as cybercrime, to the test.
Concerning China, Stoltenberg said that NATO must react together to the rise of the People’s Republic. This applies economically, politically and also militarily. “China is moving closer to us,” said Stoltenberg. And it was apparent “that China does not share our values”.