There is no new Cold War with China but Western allies will have to adapt to the security challenges the rise of Beijing brings, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says ahead of Brussels summit.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said that the Western alliance must respond to China's economic, political and military rise and that a final NATO summit statement will cement a new strategy towards Beijing.
"China is coming closer to us. We see them in cyberspace, we see China in Africa, but we also see China investing heavily in our own critical infrastructure," he told reporters at NATO headquarters before leaders began arriving for the summit.
"We're not entering a new Cold War and China is not our adversary, not our enemy," Stoltenberg told reports after a NATO leaders' summit.
"But we need to address together, as the alliance, the challenges that the rise of China poses to our security."
Stoltenberg said that NATO leaders are meeting “at a pivotal moment for our alliance, and today we’ll open a new chapter in our trans-Atlantic relationship.”
Stoltenberg chairs a first NATO summit involving US President Joe Biden.
NATO was roiled for four years under President Donald Trump.
Many allies are hoping to secure Biden’s assurances that the United States will stand by them in times of conflict.
Stoltenberg says the leaders also want to reaffirm NATO’s “dual-track approach” to Russia involving military deterrence, like the deployment of alliance troops in the Baltic countries and Poland, and dialogue.
After a series of meetings in Brussels, including with EU leaders, Biden heads to Geneva for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.
A meeting between Biden and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also scheduled for Monday.
This is a developing story and will be updated.