Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), warned against the coercive policies of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its nuclear weapons program. He urged Chinese authorities to “fulfill their obligations and act responsibly.”
Stoltenberg met virtually on Monday, Sept. 27, with CCP Foreign Minister Wang Yi to discuss NATO–Chinese regime relations and current international security challenges, Stoltenberg’s office announced in a statement.
The communiqué makes clear that NATO does not see China as an enemy, but it does put some pressure on its authorities to maintain transparency on critical issues such as nuclear weapons development and to end its coercive policies against neighboring countries and trade competitors.
For their part, Chinese regime authorities responded to NATO’s focus on transatlantic affairs, raising criticism of the deployment of military ships and aircraft in areas of international dispute such as the Asia-Pacific region.
“The Asia-Pacific region does not need new military blocs, nor should there be confrontation between major powers, let alone cliques designed to incite a new Cold War,” Wang said. “NATO should adhere to its original geographic positioning.”
During the virtual meeting, the issue of Afghanistan was also touched upon. Beijing has been highly critical of NATO’s U.S.–led operations in withdrawing its troops, while Western governments have criticized China for maintaining good relations with the Taliban who took power.
Concern over Chinese Regime’s nuclear expansion
The Chinese regime’s nuclear expansion has raised several alarms in the international community this year. Especially after a group of U.S. experts revealed that the CCP was building hundreds of nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile silos in Yumen, a desert area located about 236 miles (380 km) southeast in Gansu province, as reported by the Washington Post in June.
Less than a month after the report published by the Washington Post, the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) reported that satellite photographs show China is building a new silo field in Hami, in the eastern section of its Xinjiang region. According to the BBC, if completed, the site could contain up to 110 silos.
In early July, the U.S. State Department expressed its concern.
“This buildup is troubling. It raises questions about the PRC’s (People’s Republic of China) intent,” the State Department spokesman said in a statement, on the possibility that China’s nuclear arsenal “is growing faster and at a higher level than perhaps anticipated.”
Several officials and former officials have been warning about this situation. Such is the case of former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who co-authored an article earlier this year entitled “Why China’s Nuclear Buildup Should Worry the West.”
In his article Pompeo asserts that the CCP has historically covered up its nuclear weapons development and that its arsenal now poses a real threat to neighboring countries.