China and NATO: Grappling with Beijing’s Hopes and Fears
By Richard Weitz
On July 4, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he hoped to expand the alliance’s dialogue with China, because “NATO needs to better understand China and define areas where [the two] can work together to guarantee peace and stability” as part of the transformation of NATO into “an alliance that is globally aware, globally connected and globally capable” (Xinhua, July 5). The speech followed a reassuring interview with Xinhua where Rasmussen told the Chinese press NATO had no intentions of establishing a military presence in the Asia-Pacific and that he appreciated China’s willingness to expand military-to-military and political contacts (Xinhua, June 30). Although the absence of Chinese representatives from the NATO Summit in Chicago show the relationship is under-developed, Beijing has evinced a growing comfort in meeting with NATO as long as ties proceed deliberately.