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NATO yesterday launched a new report focused on its strategic approach over the next decade, which argues among other things that the alliance needs to ‘think harder’ about how to deal with the rise of China.

Ahead of the report’s launch, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that China poses “important challenges to our security”, adding that China “is coming close to us, from the Arctic to Africa. China does not share our values… and tries to intimidate other countries”. The report itself says that NATO should treat China as a “full-spectrum systemic rival, rather than a purely economic player.”

Calling for an update to NATO’s 2010 Strategic Concept to address a wider range of security threats, the report’s section on climate change is entitled ‘climate and green defence’. It suggests that NATO acts to “enhance its situational awareness across the High North and the Arctic”, and that it should “map emerging green technologies with a potential to ensure the Alliance’s competitive edge vis-a-vis rivals”.

CND General Secretary Kate Hudson commented: 

“NATO’s move towards a more confrontational approach to China is a threat to global peace and security. For decades, NATO has claimed to be keeping Europe safe by protecting us from attack, but its aggressive posture and expansionist ambitions continue to heighten the risk of war.

Ironically, Jen Stoltenberg accuses China of ‘coming close to us’, while endorsing a political strategy that will see NATO work closely with China’s neighbours. This follows a pattern seen since the end of the cold war, where NATO operates right up to the borders of countries it considers rivals, in the name of containing their expansion.

NATO’s central objective has long been the maintenance of US global dominance, however it dresses up its manoeuvres. Worryingly, this report shows that NATO is also poised to further militarise the global response to climate change, extending competition between nuclear-armed states into the Arctic.

This nuclear-armed alliance presents itself as the future. But for a future free from war, nuclear weapons, and climate catastrophe, we need international institutions built around peace and cooperation, not military competition.”