Jens Stoltenberg, secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), said in an interview with the Financial Times on October 18, 2021, that the rise of China was having an impact on the security of several European countries, due to its cyber capabilities, new technologies, and long-range missiles.
According to Stoltenberg, NATO allies would seek to scale down activities outside of their borders and scale up their domestic defensive resilience to better resist external threats. NATO will adopt its new Strategic Concept at a summit next summer, in June 2022, in which the Atlantic Alliance’s objectives for the next 10 years will be outlined, as the current version adopted in 2010 does not mention China.
“China is coming closer to us…We see them in the Arctic. We see them in cyber space. We see China investing heavily in critical infrastructure in our countries. Of course, the fact that they have more and more longer-range weapons that can reach all NATO allied countries… They are building many, many silos for long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles,” said the secretary.
This summer, China conducted a test with a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile, which circled the globe in orbit before speeding through the atmosphere toward its target. This event put NATO on full alert.
Foreseeing such growth, during a council meeting on June 14, 2021, NATO issued a joint statement warning that “China’s stated ambitions and assertive behavior present systemic challenges to the rules-based international order and to areas relevant to alliance security,” in the face of the accelerated expansion of its nuclear arsenal.