China’s ambitions and behaviour present “systemic challenges to the rules-based international order,” NATO leaders said in a joint communique signed off before the start of a Brussels summit on Monday, according to dpa sources.
“We are concerned by those coercive policies which stand in contrast to [NATO’s] fundamental values,” the statement continues, highlighting China’s growing nuclear capabilities and cooperation between Beijing and Moscow.
This is the first time NATO leaders have collectively taken such an assertive stance towards China.
“NATO maintains a constructive dialogue with China where possible,” the leaders’ statement said. Common challenges such as climate also offer “opportunities” for cooperation.
The NATO declaration follows a similar message signed off at the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Britain where major industrialized nations committed to taking a stronger stance on China. Beijing immediately hit back at that statement.