Above Photo: Antony Blinken in Bucharest on Wednesday: ‘What we are seeing and what we are doing . . . is looking into the areas where China poses a challenge . . . and taking appropriate steps accordingly’. (Vadim Ghirda/AP)
The alliance held its first debate on China and Taiwan back in September.
NATO foreign ministers on Wednesday discussed ways to confront what they call the “challenge” posed by China as Secretary of State Antony Blinken is trying to convince alliance members to take a more hawkish stance toward Beijing.
“What we talked about today is . . . working to adapt in concrete ways to meet the challenge,” Blinken said after the meeting. He said ways that European countries could take action against China is to use “export controls” to protect sensitive technology.
The North Atlantic military alliance officially declared in a strategy document back in June that China poses “systemic challenges.” Blinken said that he now sees a “growing convergence” on how NATO and the EU view China, although some European countries are reluctant to go along with the policies the US is pursuing.
According to Financial Times, two people present at Wednesday’s meeting said that Hungary voiced resistance to some of the measures Blinken was proposing and that Germany is less hawkish toward China than the US.
But the alliance is still dedicated to focusing on China. The Financial Times also reported that NATO held its first dedicated debate on Taiwan back in September. The report said that the alliance discussed the threat to the island and how a Chinese attack would impact NATO members.
They also discussed how NATO should make Beijing aware of the consequences it would face if it launched military action against Taiwan. President Biden has said the US would intervene militarily if China makes a move on the island, breaking from the decades-old policy of strategic ambiguity on the issue.
China has made clear from its recent actions and rhetoric that more US and Western support for Taiwan will make a conflict more likely, but Washington continues to think of ways to deepen ties with the island. Congress wants to provide unprecedented military aid for Taipei, which could be included in the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act.