Justin Bullock, FISM News
Following the annual G7 meeting, NATO conducted an annual summit of its own on June 14, 2021 in Brussels, Belgium. All 30 partner nations were in attendance and sought to identify new, modern threats to NATO countries. In particular, NATO released a strong statement against their old foe Russia, as well as a new emerging power, China. In the summit’s final communique NATO reaffirmed its strong alliances and commitments to oppose injustice and tyrannical power from countries like Russia and China.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was jubilant after the summit and tweeted out,
We just concluded a successful #NATOSummit where we took far-reaching decisions for our security. Europe & North America are standing strong together in #NATO to defend our values & interests in an age of global competition. #NATO2030 https://t.co/iZW0TUgw9K pic.twitter.com/mh5sPmDqEL
— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) June 14, 2021
The NATO countries agreed to a new initiative known as NATO 2030. This initiative is made up of nine proposals consisting of the following:
1. Deeper Political Consultation and Coordination, 2. Strengthened Deterrence and Defense, 3. Improved Resilience, 4. Preserve our Technological Edge, 5. Uphold the Rules-Based International Order, 6. Boost Training and Capacity Building, 7. Combat and Adapt to Climate Change, 8. the Next Strategic Concept, [and] 9. Investing in NATO
Of particular emphasis was Russia’s recent foray into cybercrime through a number of ransomware and cyber attacks on international businesses by Russian gangs. Russia has formally denied any involvement with these cybergangs, but NATO is not convinced and still strongly believes that Russia presents a powerful threat to NATO countries.
NATO also indicated that just while Russia is the established challenge, China is the up-and-coming challenge and could throw the balance of power around the world off if unchecked. Secretary General Stoltenberg told the press, “China is coming closer to us. We see them in cyberspace, we see China in Africa, but we also see China investing heavily in our own critical infrastructure.”
China responded to the communique in a statement saying that NATO is exaggerating “the so called ‘China threat'” and is misinterpreting their “peaceful” actions as aggression. They closed their response with a veiled warning to other countries: “China will not present ‘systematic challenges’ to anyone, but we will not sit by and do nothing if ‘systematic challenges’ come closer to us.”
Finally, President Biden confirmed the success of the NATO summit renewing the United State’s commitment to the NATO alliance. Biden also called out Russia and China by name on Twitter just days before he is set to meet with Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
Our NATO Alliance is stronger than ever. Today I’m joining our 29 allies to discuss our collective defense — including from Russian aggression, strategic challenges from China, malicious cyber activity, terrorism, and climate change.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 14, 2021