NATO Chief Urges Allies to Work Together to Defend Against China Threat

NATO Chief Urges Allies to Work Together to Defend Against China Threat
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg attends a press conference along with Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani and U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Feb. 29, 2020. (Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images)

BRUSSELS—NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on June 8  urged the 30 members of the world’s biggest military alliance to defend the rules-based global order and to champion democracy amid challenges from Russia and China.

In a speech laying out his vision of NATO for 2030, Stoltenberg said that the U.S.-led organization must become more political, particularly in the wake of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic, which exposed a lack of preparedness in many countries and severe weaknesses in their health systems.

“As we look to 2030, we need to work even more closely with like-minded countries, like Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, to defend the global rules and institutions that have kept us safe for decades,” Stoltenberg said during an online event.

He urged them to “stand up for a world built on freedom and democracy. Not on bullying and coercion.”

NATO Leaders Summit Takes Place In The UK - Day Two
(L-R) British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg, U.S. President Donald Trump, and Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on stage during the annual NATO heads of government summit in Watford, England on Dec. 4, 2019. (Jeremy Selwyn-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Stoltenberg said that “the challenges that we face over the next decade are greater than any of us can tackle alone. Neither Europe alone nor America alone. So, we must resist the temptation of national solutions.”

He added that the allies “must live up to our values, freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.”

Trump and Macron
U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and France’s President Emmanuel Macron react as they talk during their meeting at Winfield House, London on Dec. 3, 2019. (Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images)

Stoltenberg said that Russia continues to develop new weapons, including recently a medium-range missile, while “the rise of China is fundamentally shifting the global balance of power,” and that the spread of the CCP virus has increased security tensions.

The disease has often been framed as a silent enemy and has killed hundreds of thousands of people on both sides of the Atlantic, but the military alliance has only been able to play a limited role in combating it, compared with other multinational institutions like the United Nations and European Union.

Stoltenberg said the allies “need to use NATO more politically,” with military, economic and diplomatic resources to help strengthen societies and lessen their vulnerabilities to threats like the CCP virus or hybrid and cyber-attacks.

By Lorne Cook

NTD staff contributed to this report.

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