2020 - THE RISE OF CHINA: IMPLICATIONS FOR GLOBAL AND EURO-ATLANTIC SECURITY

Gerald E. CONNOLLY (United States)

18 June 2020

The rapid rise of the People’s Republic of China in the last part of the 20th century and early decades of the 21st century represents a paradigm shift in global affairs comparable in magnitude to the collapse of the Soviet Union. 

The confrontation between China and the Euro-Atlantic community is neither desirable nor inevitable, while a failure by NATO to account for China and manage the challenges it presents could make confrontation over time more likely. Indeed, it would be irresponsible for Euro-Atlantic nations and institutions to further delay the revision of their strategies and capabilities in the light of the profound changes prompted by the growing assertiveness of the world’s most populous country, second largest economy and defence spender as well as a growing global technology leader, guided by an ideology and approach that reject liberal democratic values.

As NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated at the unveiling of the NATO 2030 initiative in June 2020, “The rise of China is fundamentally shifting the global balance of power, heating up the race for economic and technological supremacy, multiplying the threat to open societies and individual freedoms, and increasing the competition over our values and our way of life.” [...]