In an effort to stay relevant, NATO is looking towards Asia to join the US in countering China in the region. During Friday’s Munich Security Conference, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg made it clear that Beijing is a top priority of the alliance.
“The rise of China is a defining issue for the transatlantic community.
With potential consequences for our security, our prosperity and our way of life,” Stoltenberg said. “This is why NATO should deepen our relationships with close partners, like Australia and Japan, and forge new ones around the world.”
At the end of 2020, NATO released a report that called for the alliance to increase its focus on China. The report said NATO should build stronger relationships with countries in Asia, like Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea, what it calls “like-minded” countries.
The report says NATO should consider forming a partnership with India, a country the US has been stepping up military cooperation with. The US, India, Japan, and Australia form the informal alliance, or dialogue, known as the Quad, a group NATO is keen to work with. The Quad is seen as a possible foundation for a NATO-style military alliance in Asia.
President Biden also spoke at the Munich Conference and made similar remarks regarding China. “You know, we must prepare together for a long-term strategic competition with China,” he said. “How the United States, Europe, and Asia work together to secure the peace and defend our shared values and advance our prosperity across the Pacific will be among the most consequential efforts we undertake.”