Implementing NATO’s Strategic Concept on China

Implementing NATO’s Strategic Concept on China – Atlantic Council

By Hans Binnendijk and Daniel S. Hamilton

Set against the backdrop of Russia’s war on Ukraine, the June 2022 Madrid NATO Summit set the tone for the next decade of the Alliance’s shared future. Allies made it clear that they consider Russia their most immediate and direct threat. Yet they also made headlines by addressing challenges emanating from the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Allies laid out actions to be taken across the diplomatic, economic, and military spheres. Now the Alliance must implement those responses. Beijing will be watching closely.

Table of contents

I. China in transatlantic security relations
A. Chinese technological advances have a number of direct security implications for NATO.
B. European and North Atlantic security can be impaired by dangerous dependencies
C. China’s maritime claims, its space policies, its manipulation of information, and its activities in the Arctic could threaten key principles of the global commons
D. China-Russia entente raises concerns for NATO
E. Conflict in the Indo-Pacific has significant implications for Europe
F. Chinese nuclear warheads and missiles can reach all parts of the North Atlantic region
G. Humanitarian and diplomatic practices concern NATO
II. Addressing China’s challenges in NATO’s Strategic Concept
III. Strategic Concept follow-up meetings
IV. Implementing NATO’s China policy
A. Track one: Addressing the China challenge
B. Track two: Developing effective Indo-Pacific partnerships
C. Track three: Exploring constructive cngagement with Beijing
V. Conclusion
VI. Acknowledgements
VII. About the author

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