NATO warns of threats to security as China ‘rapidly expanding its nuclear arsenal’

China: Expert discusses ‘fears of regional arms race’

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On Monday, the military alliance issued a statement following its summit in Brussels speaking out on Beijing’s assertiveness. The body called on its member nations to challenge China’s political, military and economic stance.

The communique read: “China’s stated ambitions and assertive behaviour present systemic challenges to the rules-based international order and to areas relevant to alliance security.”

The 79-point document warned China was “rapidly expanding its nuclear arsenal” and being “opaque in implementing its military modernisation”.

It also pointed out Beijing’s military ties with Russia in their actions in the Euro-Atlantic region.

Nato also urged Beijing to comply with its international responsibilities.

The announcement read: “We call on China to uphold its international commitments and to act responsibly in the international system, including in the space, cyber, and maritime domains, in keeping with its role as a major power”

Beijing’s military exercises with Moscow and plans to set up bases in Africa have sparked concerns amongst western leaders.

Claudia Major, a defence analyst at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, said ahead of the announcement: “This is not about ‘Nato going to China’.

“It’s about ‘China is coming to Europe and we have to do something about it’.”

Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg expressed concerns over China’s “coercive behaviour”, and how it could affect member countries’ security.

He said: “There are, of course, opportunities and we need to engage with China, on issues like climate change and arms controls.

“But China’s military build-up, growing influence and coercive behaviour also pose some challenges to our security, and we need to address them.”

Last week war fears spiked after China issued a chilling warning to Taiwan telling the island nation to “prepare for war”.

A propaganda poster – depicting military rockets being fired beside the words “prepare for war” – has been produced by the Political Work Department.

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