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World China's military might has now become a top issue for NATO

12:40  03 december  2019
12:40  03 december  2019 Source:   cnbc.com

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NATO , the 29-member military alliance, was set up 70 years ago to counter the threat posed by the-then Soviet Union. But now , another rising military power is in its sights: China . As heads of state and government gather in the U.K. Tuesday for a two-day meeting of the alliance

Russia is now not the only pressing issue that NATO has to deal with. Assessment of the scope of NATO 's engagement on China ' s challenge, including the U.S. push to The irony is that whilst NATO has become military more relevant, political debate within the alliance has become more fractious

    a group of people standing in front of a mountain: The Beijing corps of the Chinese People's Armed Police takes an oath during a ceremony on January 2, 2018, in Beijing, China, as annual military training activities begin.© Provided by CNBC The Beijing corps of the Chinese People's Armed Police takes an oath during a ceremony on January 2, 2018, in Beijing, China, as annual military training activities begin.

    • According to NATO's own estimate, China had the second-largest global defense budget in 2018.
    • In March, China set its 2019 defense spending at 7.5% higher than a year ago, raising spending to 1.19 trillion yuan ($177.61 billion), according to known figures.

    NATO, the 29-member military alliance, was set up 70 years ago to counter the threat posed by the-then Soviet Union.

    But now, another rising military power is in its sights: China.

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    Now , nations have submitted their updated plans to NATO . And we see the results. But Allies also need to take into account China ’ s significant military modernisation; its increased presence from the NATO is the only forum that brings Europe and North America together every day to address the key

    A NATO leaders' meeting in London comes amid heightened frictions over the powerful military alliance, its direction and leadership. LONDON – Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has warned that if President Donald Trump is re-elected in 2020 "there will be no NATO ."

    As heads of state and government gather in the U.K. Tuesday for a two-day meeting of the alliance, shifting geopolitical relationships and emerging challenges will be in focus for the fractious group. Previous meetings have been dominated by the alliance's old foe Russia, following Moscow's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

    However, many experts and leaders within the group think the alliance should now be focusing on new and emerging military powers, like China. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told CNBC Monday that the country is "coming closer."

    "What we see is that the rising power of China is shifting the global balance of power and the rises of China — the economic rise, the military rise — provides some opportunities but also some serious challenges," Stoltenberg told CNBC's Hadley Gamble in London.

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    China has become too big to break the rules, America' s NATO ambassador says https European politicians have also recognized that the alliance has to reckon with Beijing. “We see them in Africa, we see them in the Arctic, we see them in cyberspace, and China now has the second-largest

    China has grown into a competitor. “They have now turned into a competitor, but they still expect to have The American ambassador for NATO also said China had the second-largest However, both sides are trying to sign an interim trade deal to partially address the issues underlying the trade war.

    "We have to address the fact that China is coming closer to us, investing heavily in infrastructure. We see them in Africa, we see them in the Arctic, we see them in cyber space and China now has the second-largest defense budget in the world," he said.

    According to NATO's own estimate, China had the second-largest global defense budget in 2018. In March, China set its 2019 defense spending at 7.5% higher than a year ago, raising spending to 1.19 trillion yuan ($177.61 billion), according to known figures (some believe the actual figure could be higher).

    Still, it lags a long way behind the U.S. In April, the U.S. Defense Department asked Congress for $718 billion in its fiscal 2020 budget, an increase of $33 billion or about 5% over what Congress enacted for fiscal 2019.

    The U.S. and NATO, are watching China closely. Stoltenberg told CNBC Monday that NATO did not want to "create new adversaries" and that "as long as NATO allies stand together, we are strong and we are safe ... We are by far the strongest military power in the world."

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    The Chinese military has little experience abroad, as the young Chinese soldier hinted when he said this week’ s exercise was his first large overseas deployment. Importantly, there is so far no formal security pact—nothing akin to NATO in Europe—that requires China and Russia to defend each other

    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization , also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries.

    Sino-U.S. tensions are of course already high as a trade dispute between the nations, which has led to billions of dollars' worth of import tariffs on each others' goods, remains unresolved.

    U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO, Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison, told CNBC Monday that the rest of the world had let China get by with not meeting World Trade Organization (WTO) standards, but that it was now time to bring China "into the rules-based order."

    "They have now turned into a competitor, but they still expect to have the acquiescence to not abiding by the rules, to stealing technology and intellectual property," she said before adding, "We have let them get by with it, now we can't. They are a competitor. A very strong competitor."

    Bailey Hutchison said NATO is now reviewing Chinese military action due to that rapid growth. The ambassador said being watchful is both new and totally justified. "We have to face that, and we have to see it clear-eyed. Do we want China to be an enemy? No, we don't, but we must prepare," she said.

    The ambassador said it was not yet the time to declare China an adversary and that efforts should remain on making the country a strong and fair trading partner.

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