The United States and its allies and partners are urging the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to act responsibly and abide by the international rules-based order.
During the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) June 14 Summit in Brussels, leaders from 30 member nations underscored the challenges that the PRC’s coercive policies pose to their collective security and values. NATO allies noted the PRC’s rapidly expanding nuclear arsenal and its opaque military modernization and military-civil fusion strategy, as well as its lack of transparency and use of disinformation.
“We call on China to uphold its international commitments and to act responsibly in the international system, including in the space, cyber, and maritime domains, in keeping with its role as a major power,” NATO allies said in the June 14 Brussels Summit Communiqué.
NATO allies say the PRC’s policies and coercive behavior present systemic challenges to the rules-based international order and Alliance security.
Our NATO Alliance is stronger than ever. Today I’m joining our 29 allies to discuss our collective defense — including from Russian aggression, strategic challenges from China, malicious cyber activity, terrorism, and climate change.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 14, 2021
President Biden told reporters June 14 in Brussels that NATO allies agreed to an ambitious set of initiatives to ensure NATO continues to provide security through 2030 and beyond. Under the agenda, NATO allies will:
- Improve technological cooperation to speed the adoption of emerging technologies that will enhance the Alliance’s defense and security.
- Strengthen defenses against increasingly frequent and severe threats from the malicious cyber activities of state and nonstate actors.
- Enhance the resilience and security of member nations’ supply chains, critical infrastructure and energy networks, ensuring allies rely on trustworthy providers for next-generation telecommunications networks.
- Deepen cooperation with like-minded partners in the Indo-Pacific to strengthen the rules-based international order.
In advance of the 2022 NATO Summit, member nations will prepare a new Strategic Concept to guide the Alliance’s approach to the evolving strategic environment, including long-term systemic challenges posed by the PRC.
NATO allies’ response to Beijing echoes the Group of Seven (G7) nations’ calls for the PRC to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The G7 nations — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the U.S. — in a June 13 communiqué specifically fault the PRC’s repression in Xinjiang and crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong.
The G7 communiqué says, “We will promote our values, including by calling on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially in relation to Xinjiang and those rights, freedoms and high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.”
After the U.S.-European Union Summit June 15, Biden and EU leaders committed to coordinating on shared concerns related to the PRC’s human rights violations in Xinjiang and Tibet, as well as its erosion of democratic processes in Hong Kong, and economic coercion and disinformation campaigns.
In a joint statement, U.S. and EU leaders also emphasized the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and opposed unilateral attempts to change the status quo and increase tensions in the East and South China Seas.
The U.S. and EU also announced the Trade and Technology Council, which will seek to strengthen supply chains and secure infrastructure, while addressing misuse of technology that threatens security and human rights.