William Molinié, edited by Romain Rouillard 06:47, July 01, 2022, modified at 06:49, July 01, 2022

The NATO summit ended Thursday in Madrid and the question of the Alliance's position vis-à-vis China has been settled.

If Beijing is not directly identified as a threat in the same way as Russia, it was presented by the organization as "a challenge" for its interests.

How does NATO position itself against Beijing?

This question was widely discussed at the NATO summit in Madrid which ended on Thursday and a consensus was found by the member states.

But finding the right words to designate China was not easy.

In its new strategic concept, a 16-page document published during the summit, the Alliance presents China for the first time as "a challenge" to its interests, not to mention a "threat" in the same way as Russia.



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However, the wording is not to the taste of Beijing, which considers that NATO persists in smearing Chinese foreign policy.

What the French President, Emmanuel Macron, defends himself: "NATO is not an alliance against China. But we must take into account, on the one hand, the systemic challenges posed by the rise of China in this space and, on the other hand, of the contestation of the international order that the partnership between China and Russia aims at. There is a Chinese challenge, but there is not an alliance which wants to oppose or looking for a new enemy."

Caution but firmness 

If caution remains in order, because there is no question of putting China and Russia on the same level, firmness is also.

NATO criticizes Beijing for its hybrid cyber-malicious operations, its rhetoric deemed hostile or its disinformation activities against the allies.

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The security issues of the North Atlantic are increasingly linked to those of the Indo-Pacific where China now competes almost directly with American interests.