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NDC - News- The rise of China and NATO’s new Strategic Concept

The rise of China and NATO’s new Strategic Concept

  • 01 Mar. 2022
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  • Last updated: 01 Mar. 2022 09:23

NDC Policy Brief 04-22


China’s rise is shaking up international power relations and is calling into question Western ideas of regional and global order. NATO, too, is confronted with the necessity of dealing with the challenges posed by China. This has been reflected in various NATO statements since 2019. According to Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, “China does not share our values” and “uses modern technology, social media [and] facial recognition, to monitor, to do surveillance of their own population in a way we have never seen before”. “All of this makes it important for NATO to strengthen our policy when it comes to China”, he added.1

NATO Allies only paid attention to the significance of the People’s Republic on their security policy comparatively late. For a long time, the dominant view was that the Alliance and Beijing were pursuing a number of common interests, e.g. in the areas of crisis management, counter-piracy and in the countering of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.2 Only China’s rise on the international scene and the resulting rivalry with the US in recent years have led to Beijing’s foreign policy to appear on the Alliance’s agenda.

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* (back) Markus Kaim is Senior Fellow in the International Security Division at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP); Angela Stanzel is Associate in the Asia Division at SWP.

1 (back) “Head of NATO says member states need to ‘strengthen’ policy on China”, CBC, 13 June 2021.

2 (back) T. M. Chacho, “Potential partners in the Pacific? Mutual interests and the sino-NATO relationship”, The Journal of Contemporary China, Vol.23, Iss.87, 2014, pp.387-407.


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