Biden asks NATO to adapt to ‘new challenges’ posed by Russia, China
BRUSSELS – June 15 (Online): s US President Joe Biden met representatives of Washington’s NATO allies to renew “sacred” bond, he warned that the alliance needs to adapt to new challenges posed by China and Russia.
Arriving at NATO headquarters in Brussels for a summit with his 29 counterparts, Biden stressed that the alliance was “critically important” to US security.
His first visit as president to the summit has been billed as a renewal of bonds after his predecessor Donald Trump called the US commitment into question.
But it is also a moment to renew priorities and strategies for dealing with Moscow and Beijing, novel threats, and NATO’s hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan after years of conflict.
“I think that there is a growing recognition over the last couple of years that we have new challenges,” Biden told NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at bilateral talks ahead of the main summit.
“We have Russia that is not acting in a way that is consistent with what we had hoped, as well as China,” he said.
“I want to make it clear: NATO is critically important for US interests in and of itself. If there weren’t one, we’d have to invent it,” he said.
And he stressed once again that Article 5 of the NATO treaty — the obligation of members to defend one another, once called into question by Trump — was a “sacred obligation”.
The allies were due to agree a statement stressing common ground on securing their withdrawal from Afghanistan, joint responses to cyber attacks and the challenge of a rising China.
“We’re not entering a new Cold War and China is not our adversary, not our enemy,” Stoltenberg told reporters as he arrived at NATO headquarters ahead of the leaders.
“But we need to address together, as the alliance, the challenges that the rise of China poses to our security.”