There will be no new Cold War with China, but Western allies will have to adapt to the challenge of Beijing’s rising influence, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday.
“We will not enter into a new Cold War, and China is not our adversary and it is not our enemy,” Stoltenberg told reporters after the NATO leaders’ summit, adding: “But we need to face together, as allies, the challenges that China’s rise poses to our security.”
This came in a press conference for Stoltenberg, held in the Belgian capital, Brussels, before presiding over the first NATO summit attended by the new US President Joe Biden.
“Today we will open a new chapter in our transatlantic relationship,” he said.
While Stoltenberg played down the level of tensions with China, he added that NATO “must take a tougher approach to Beijing.”
He continued: “Chinese military influence is a challenge, but it is not our enemy,” stressing that the alliance “will not enter a new cold war.”
With regard to relations with Russia, Stoltenberg noted that relations with Moscow “have reached their lowest level since the end of the Cold War.”
On the other hand, Stoltenberg announced that NATO “will continue to provide support to Afghan forces even after the withdrawal from Afghanistan.”