On Monday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg continued his calls for the alliance to focus more on China. With the US looking to expand partnerships in Asia to counter Beijing, NATO is eager to follow Washington’s lead.
In an interview with Politico, Stoltenberg urged that North America and Europe cooperate in the face of a rising China. “To protect Europe, we need the transatlantic bond, we need North America, the US and Canada,” he said.
“We all realize that the global balance of power is changing in a fundamental way. The rise of China is really changing the security environment we face,” Stoltenberg said. The NATO chief warned that Beijing was “investing heavily in new capabilities, including nuclear weapons, missiles, new technologies.”
Last week, NATO released a report that outlined a plan for the alliance to engage more with countries in Asia that share its “values” like Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea. Stoltenberg made similar comments on Monday, calling for “a community of like-minded democracies” to face China.
The Trump administration has been working to build stronger partnerships in Asia to counter Beijing. The US, Japan, Australia, and India make up the informal alliance known as the Quad. US officials have floated the idea that the Quad could be the foundation for a NATO-style coalition in Asia. The NATO report said the alliance should form stronger ties with the Quad to coordinate on China’s rise.
The incoming Biden administration is expected to continue alliance building in Asia. Joe Biden’s pick for secretary of state, Anthony Blinken, is seen as a “defender” of global alliances. “We need to rally our allies and partners, instead of alienating them, to deal with some of the challenges that China poses,” he said,” Blinken said at a Hudson Institute event in July.