BIDEN’S 1ST NATO SUMMIT TO SEE LEADERS TAKE TOUGHER LINE VS CHINA
US President Joe Biden is to take part in his debut NATO summit on Monday as the 30 countries look to put the strained years of Donald Trump's administration behind them and instead turn their attention to external threats, Ella Joyner reported for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
China is prominent among these challenges, and the defense alliance's members are planning to call on Beijing to respect international commitments and live up to its role as a major world power, NATO sources told dpa. They are also expected to urge the country to increase its transparency with regard to its nuclear capabilities.
Ahead of the summit, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance must work with Beijing on arms control and climate change, but that the country's "military build-up, growing influence, and coercive behavior also pose some challenges to our security."
This would be the first time NATO leaders take such an assertive stance towards China.
After their last meeting in late 2019, they stated only that they "recognize that China’s growing influence and international policies present both opportunities and challenges."
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said none of the leaders wanted to "sink into a new Cold War with China ... They see challenges, they see things that they have to manage."
The NATO meeting comes at the heels of the Group of Seven (G7) summit in England where major industrialized nations committed to taking a stronger stance on Beijing on matters such as unfair trade practices, human rights issues, and the crackdown on the opposition in Hong Kong.
Beijing immediately hit back at the G7 communique, with a spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in London saying it contained "distorted facts" and amounted to slander. But China is not the only country under scrutiny by NATO members. Leaders are also expected to send a pointed message to what they perceive as an increasingly aggressive Russia - the defense alliance's traditional adversary.