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Stoltenberg Seeks NATO Expansion, Claiming Alliance Must Be ‘Clear-Eyed’ about ‘Rise of China’

Sept. 22, 2020 (EIRNS)—In another indication that NATO is going global, Jens Stoltenberg, the alliance’s Secretary General, said in a speech to the Center for European Policy Analysis, that China’s growing military and economic clout means NATO must forge ties with partners beyond Europe to expand its influence. “Using NATO more politically is valuable to send a clear and unified political message. Because together, NATO allies represent half the world’s economic and military might ... what we say matters,” he said, reported Stars & Stripes. Stoltenberg laid out the priorities for his NATO 2030 initiative, which aims to shape the alliance to confront future threats. NATO will need to be “clear-eyed” about China, which has the world’s second-largest military budget and is willing to use its economic heft to intimidate other countries, Stoltenberg said.

“The rise of China is fundamentally shifting the global balance of power,” he said. “China does not hesitate to use its economic and diplomatic weight to intimidate trading partners and private companies.” To deal with the range of security problems, NATO will need to seek closer ties with “like-minded partners” in other regions “to remain competitive in a more competitive world,” Stoltenberg stated.

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