U.S. President Joe Biden holds a news conference at the end of the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium June 14, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

NATO leaders Monday warned China that they would not tolerate the country’s determination to disrupt global order, aligning with President Joe Biden’s efforts to get allies to speak out against China’s trade, military and human rights abuses. 

NATO gathered to “reaffirm our unity, solidarity and cohesion, and to open a new chapter in transatlantic relations, at a time when the security environment we face is increasingly complex,” the heads of state and government of the 30 allies said in a statement. NATO then named Russia and China as threats. 

“We will engage China with a view to defending the security interests of the Alliance,” the statement read while calling NATO “the most successful alliance in history.”

This is the first time NATO portrayed China as a serious military threat, stating that the country will present significant challenges over how it chooses to flex its expanding military might.

Biden’s effort to unite the U.S. allies over China proved difficult, as European countries didn’t seem eager to enter a conflict and in some cases, expressed a desire for greater economic ties. But NATO had no issues with voicing its concerns in Monday’s one-day summit.

NATO formed in 1949 to address the threat of the Soviet Union, but on Monday, the alliance addressed China’s growing nuclear arsenal, military cooperation with Russia and lack of transparency. 

Biden Sunday called the pact to defend NATO a “sacred obligation” and said a strong NATO was “essential for America.” Biden plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on June 16 to discuss a wide variety of issues. 

Many expect Beijing to react with fury after being labeled as a threat. Beijing already accused the leaders of last week’s G7 summit of “lies, rumors and baseless accusations.”

But NATO’s statement was hardly a declaration of war. In it, NATO said it would “maintain a constructive dialogue with China where possible.”

“We welcome opportunities to engage with China on areas of relevance to the Alliance and on common challenges such as climate change,” the statement read. “Allies urge China to engage meaningfully in dialogue, confidence-building, and transparency measures regarding its nuclear capabilities and doctrine. Reciprocal transparency and understanding would benefit both NATO and China.”

MEDIA PERSPECTIVES

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Lots of tone, little substance at G7 – Asia Times – 6/14/2021
The sigh of relief was palpable. France’s President Emmanuel Macron proclaimed it out loud. “It is great to have a US president who is part of the club and very willing to cooperate,” he said. One Trump critic immediately said he preferred “boring” Biden to “circus freakshow” Trump.

Apple’s Bet on China – The New York Times – 6/14/2021
China has figured out how to make Apple work for China, bringing its technology to bear to aid the government’s vast censorship operation.

U.S. officials worry about Russia’s growing links to China – Politico – 6/14/2021
Twenty years after signing the “Treaty of Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation,” the Chinese-Russian relationship has achieved new heights and is poised to reach a “larger scale, broader field, and deeper level,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a video message to a think tank forum, according to a readout from the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

The United States’ Imperial Foreign Policy Is the Deadly Enemy of Progress at Home – Jacobin Mag – 6/14/2021
The idea that the United States can pursue progressive policies domestically and amoral, imperial policies abroad has always been a fantasy. 

Biden, unlike predecessors, has maintained Putin skepticism – Associated Press – 6/14/2021
But unlike his four most recent White House predecessors, who made an effort to build a measure of rapport with Vladimir Putin, Biden has made clear that the virtue of fusing a personal connection might have its limits when it comes to the Russian leader.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVES

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