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NATO adopts tough line on China at Biden's debut summit with alliance

Stock MarketsJun 14, 2021 05:16PM ET
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5/5 © Reuters. Belgium's Prime Minister Alexander De Croo welcomes U.S. President Joe Biden as he arrives ahead of a NATO summit, at Brussels Military Airport in Melsbroek, Belgium June 13, 2021. Didier Lebrun/Pool via REUTERS 2/5

By Robin Emmott, Steve Holland and Sabine Siebold

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -NATO leaders warned on Monday that China presents "systemic challenges," taking a forceful stance towards Beijing in a communique at Joe Biden's first summit with an alliance that Donald Trump openly disparaged.

The new U.S. president has urged his fellow NATO leaders to stand up to China's authoritarianism and growing military might, a change of focus for an alliance created to defend Europe from the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

The language in the summit's final communique, which will set the path for alliance policy, came a day after the Group of Seven (G7) rich nations issued a statement on human rights in China and Taiwan that Beijing said slandered its reputation.

"China's stated ambitions and assertive behaviour present systemic challenges to the rules-based international order and to areas relevant to alliance security," NATO leaders said in the communique.

Biden also told European allies that the alliance's mutual defence pact was a "sacred obligation" for the United States - a marked shift in tone from his predecessor, Trump, who had threatened to withdraw from the alliance and accused Europeans of contributing too little to their own defence.

"I want all Europe to know that the United States is there," said Biden. "NATO is critically important to us."

Biden stopped at the NATO headquarters' memorial to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States by al Qaeda militants, when NATO triggered its Article 5 for the first and only time. Under the article, the alliance treats an attack on one member state as being an attack on all.

Later at a news conference, Biden, who will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday in Geneva, said China and Russia were trying to split the transatlantic alliance and that, while he was not seeking conflict with Russia, NATO would respond if Moscow "continued its harmful activities".

He described Putin as tough and bright.

"Russia and China are both seeking to drive a wedge in our transatlantic solidarity," Biden said. He also pledged to support Ukraine in its conflict with Moscow, although he was non-committal on whether Kyiv could one day join NATO.

"We are going to put Ukraine in a position that they will be able to maintain their physical security," Biden said, without giving more details.

'AMERICA IS BACK'

While there are still differences in strategies on how to deal with China across the West, Biden said NATO was united under U.S. leadership. "America is back," he said, seeking to reassure Europeans that a Trump-like populist would not be back in the White House in four years.

"The leadership of the (U.S.) Republican Party is fractured and the Trump wing of the party is the bulk of the party, but it makes up a significant minority of the American people".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at her last summit of the alliance before she steps down in September, described Biden's arrival as the opening of a new chapter. She also said it was important to deal with China as a potential threat, while keeping it in perspective.

"If you look at the cyber threats and the hybrid threats, if you look at the cooperation between Russia and China, you cannot simply ignore China," Merkel told reporters. "But one must not overrate it, either - we need to find the right balance."

In NATO's glass and steel headquarters on the outskirts of Brussels, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said China's growing military presence from the Baltics to Africa meant nuclear-armed NATO had to be prepared.

"China is coming closer to us. We see them in cyberspace, we see China in Africa, but we also see China investing heavily in our own critical infrastructure," he said, a reference to ports and telecoms networks.

Stoltenberg also said the leaders had agreed to increase their contributions to the alliance's common budget. The vast bulk of military spending in NATO is handled separately by member countries.

CHINA'S REPUTATION

G7 nations meeting in Britain over the weekend scolded China over human rights in its Xinjiang region, called for Hong Kong to keep a high degree of autonomy and demanded a full investigation of the origins of the coronavirus in China.

China's embassy in London said it was resolutely opposed to mentions of Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan, which it said distorted the facts and exposed the "sinister intentions of a few countries such as the United States".

"China's reputation must not be slandered," the embassy said on Monday.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there were risks and rewards with Beijing. "I don't think anybody around the table wants to descend into a new Cold War with China," he said.

From China's investments in European ports and plans to set up military bases in Africa to joint military exercises with Russia, NATO is now agreed that Beijing's rise deserves a strong response, although envoys said that would be multi-faceted.

Allies are mindful of their economic links with China. Total German trade with China in 2020 was more than 212 billion euros ($257 billion), according to German government data. Total Chinese holdings of U.S. Treasuries as of March 2021 stood at $1.1 trillion, according to U.S. data, and total U.S. trade with China in 2020 was $559 billion.

NATO adopts tough line on China at Biden's debut summit with alliance
 

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Comments (34)
Andrew Allen
Andrew Allen Jun 14, 2021 6:38PM ET
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honestly, at the moment the CCP is not the biggest threat to the West. The biggest threat to the West is itself. Inflationary monetary policy, burdensome regulation, and corrupt politicians are the reasons China is gaining more relative power. The country that currently produces everything for the US while the Fed prints the value of USD into the abyss is not the enemy. The government that prevents prosperity in the US is the enemy. END THE FED
Andrew Allen
Andrew Allen Jun 14, 2021 6:38PM ET
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throw in a little cultural decay, and you have yourself a collapsing western empire. We reap what we have sewn for our future
David David
David9 Jun 14, 2021 6:38PM ET
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You are correct... China is not the biggest threat... the politicians and the Fed is the biggest treat. They are using China as a scapegoat to deflect blame for everything. The two parties are corrupted and we are seeing the end of the US as a great power... just read Ray Dalio's the Changing World Order, he spells it out exactly what is going on...
Andrew Allen
Andrew Allen Jun 14, 2021 6:38PM ET
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Thank you for the recommendation
Ad Cline
Ad Cline Jun 14, 2021 2:40PM ET
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so many supporters of the Chinese dictatorship and its policies of genocide and oppression. reminds me of the supporters of The German Dictatorship in the 1930s maybe that's the blueprint that China is using to enslave the Chinese population.
David David
David9 Jun 14, 2021 2:40PM ET
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No, that is a very wrong comparison. If you said someone does this or that, you need to provide proof... without proof, it won't fly for the educated people here...
Ad Cline
Ad Cline Jun 14, 2021 2:26PM ET
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Hung Pham I see your instructors have failed in your training. it shows in your understanding of certain words in the English language. your Chinese overloads are commiting genocide against an innocent people. the Han masters of China have become monsters. they must be removed before disgrace, and dishonor, destroy China.
David David
David9 Jun 14, 2021 2:26PM ET
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Please give us proof of what you have claimed... without that, the educated people here will not take it...
Ad Cline
Ad Cline Jun 14, 2021 2:26PM ET
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David9 I doubt very many people that read these posts, consider you and your true believer supporters, very creditable. after all you and yours support authoritarian dictatorships, mass incarceration and slave labor camps. and somehow think that's working in China's best long term interests.
David David
David9 Jun 14, 2021 2:26PM ET
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How do you know they don't consider me creditable? Where did you get that fact?
Ad Cline
Ad Cline Jun 14, 2021 2:00PM ET
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David9 "groups" are formed by the Democratic forces to put dictatorships like China and Russia in their place. Since China and Russia are demonstrating they are without honor by their threats and bulling of other nations; these alliances will be strengthened to met the threat that China and Russia pose for the West, and the world.
Ur Daddy
Ur Daddy Jun 14, 2021 1:34PM ET
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has Biden been sexually abused by local people when he visited china 20 years ago?
Ad Cline
Ad Cline Jun 14, 2021 1:29PM ET
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China please stop the genocide of its minorities in the East. stop building slave labor camps for religious, cultural and racial minorities, stop the paranoia of its own Chinese citizens, stop its development of bio-weapons that it plans to blackmail the world with. stop lying and stealing from Chinese trading partners. The g7 is telling the Chinese dictatorship we will neutralize you if you attack the west.The days of China getting an unfair advantage in trade relationships is over.
Hung Pham
Hung Pham Jun 14, 2021 1:29PM ET
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Lol can you stop being a racist liberal? You the same dude defending China when Trump were POTUS
David David
David9 Jun 14, 2021 1:29PM ET
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Please inform us what you have been reading... we all would like how you have become brainwashed... let us figure out how someone became this blind from reading... please let us all know...
Ad Cline
Ad Cline Jun 14, 2021 1:29PM ET
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your post shows your command of English is very limited.you apparently have not been paying attention to my posts or your English reading skills are very limited. perhaps this has made you confused.
David David
David9 Jun 14, 2021 1:29PM ET
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How is my english limited? I know as much if not more than most here with my english comprehension...
Ad Cline
Ad Cline Jun 14, 2021 1:27PM ET
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and christian Gustafson supports insurrection and sidition. trump proved to be an incompetent looser.
Hung Pham
Hung Pham Jun 14, 2021 1:27PM ET
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Trump is way better than any Racist Liberal lol
Ad Cline
Ad Cline Jun 14, 2021 1:27PM ET
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hungy pham your posts are getting pretty lame. is that all you got.
Christian Gustafson
Christian Gustafson Jun 14, 2021 1:18PM ET
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Biden is not POTUS
Godfirst Amaka
Godfirst Amaka Jun 14, 2021 12:31PM ET
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You know y i love China and Russia the have Patient.They saw potential in Africa that's y the want to move their military base here
Godfirst Amaka
Godfirst Amaka Jun 14, 2021 12:29PM ET
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what amused me here is how biden mentioned Africa, so you guys re interested in our mineral resources but forget to put hands in develop ur CONTINENT
David David
David9 Jun 14, 2021 12:18PM ET
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NATO, G7, 5 Eyes, QUAD... why so many groups? All countries in this groups need to focus on their home country. Take care of homelessness, wealth gap, racism, police brutality, high healthcare costs, inflation, etc... too many problems for them to solve but no, they want to focus on somewhere else...
Eudon Hickey
Eudon Hickey Jun 14, 2021 11:13AM ET
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Dissolve NATO
TL Chan
TL Chan Jun 14, 2021 10:54AM ET
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CCP used bio weapon, US and Nato must destroy it. But, I doubt this bunch of losers (in terms of their position, they are just weak people without strong will ), can achieve even 10% of what Churchill achieved.
Eudon Hickey
Eudon Hickey Jun 14, 2021 10:54AM ET
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Fauci and the democrats paid for the virus, so they just as guilty as CCP
Ad Cline
Ad Cline Jun 14, 2021 10:54AM ET
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don't underestimate the western powers. history has proven that when autocratic Dictatorships do they do it at their peril.
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Jun 14, 2021 10:52AM ET
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China tool others people land, sea by force. They took the seas by building islands, then use the international 200 nautical miles from the land rule to take the sea. They r very Sneaky
Tony Coll
Tony Coll Jun 14, 2021 9:34AM ET
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None of them look like strong people ready to face the possibility of war. A bunch of compromising bureaucrats. China and Russia would wipe the floor with us we've become so weak. Finally get a president ready to confront US issues and we trade him in for a career used car salesman that thinks the rest of the world should be our main focus.
TL Chan
TL Chan Jun 14, 2021 9:34AM ET
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CCP used bio weapon, US and Nato must destroy it. But, I doubt this bunch of lovers (in terms of their position, they are just weak people without strong will ), can achieve even 10% of what Churchill achieved.
TL Chan
TL Chan Jun 14, 2021 9:34AM ET
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CCP used bio weapon, US and Nato must destroy it. But, I doubt this bunch of losers (in terms of their position, they are just weak people without strong will ), can achieve even 10% of what Churchill achieved.
David David
David9 Jun 14, 2021 5:32AM ET
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Can NATO please help fight homeless, racism, and balance out the 1% rich vs the mass poor? Please help solve that problem for the world...
Darryl Allen
Darryl Allen Jun 14, 2021 5:32AM ET
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Equality is unjust. People are not be entitled to anything they haven't earned.
Andrew Allen
Andrew Allen Jun 14, 2021 5:32AM ET
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Darryl Allen highly underrated opinion my long lost brother Darryl
SL Soon
SL Soon Jun 14, 2021 4:08AM ET
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Hi China, stop exporting anything to the U.S. You only lost a customer, but U.S would collapse.
IceIce Baby
IceIceBaby Jun 14, 2021 4:08AM ET
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Hi US and EU, stop exporting assets to China. Impact on prices might be high but might be offset by the GDP growth what would skyrocket by inhome production.
Kevin Avila
Kevin Avila Jun 14, 2021 4:07AM ET
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Can we just get the war started?
Jp Perth
Jp Perth Jun 14, 2021 4:01AM ET
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it is seriously time to weaken China. Worldwide every naval vessel on earth should sink or seize the pirate fishing fleets China has deployed around the world. It is time to tighten the screws on their bs and make the ccp fall. A free democratic China is the only solution to their worldwide criminal frauds and thefts.
David David
David9 Jun 14, 2021 4:01AM ET
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If what China has today has worked for them, why would they need to change? Similarly, if someone believes in Buddhism and is working for them, why do they need to switch to Christianity? Answer now...
Jp Perth
Jp Perth Jun 14, 2021 3:56AM ET
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we as Americans need to avoid buying anything from China. I do.
Ad Cline
Ad Cline Jun 14, 2021 2:18AM ET
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time to shut the lights of in st Petersburg. and shutdown the pathetic Texas size economy of the incompetent petty Russian Dictator...Putin. I hear Putin. just had the Russian people pay for a new luxury 1 billions dollar residence for him and his family. corruption, the official platform of Putin's political party United Russia.
Ad Cline
Ad Cline Jun 14, 2021 1:51AM ET
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Eudon Hickey the one the're gigling at is your master, thedictator Putin. they know he's going to be given a order from Biden Putin can't refuse.
Eudon Hickey
Eudon Hickey Jun 14, 2021 1:14AM ET
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I feel sorry for the USA, as you could see how they giggled at Biden.
Tyrone Jackson
Tyrone Jackson Jun 14, 2021 1:11AM ET
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If they say they are glad Trump is gone, it’s because he told them to shove it. Now sleeping Joe will be their lap dog. More Americans tax money going to Europe, They still cannot defend themselves. Lmao
Ad Cline
Ad Cline Jun 14, 2021 1:11AM ET
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Tyrone your masters in Moscow will be very happy with your post.
Jack William
Jack William Jun 14, 2021 1:11AM ET
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Interesting..! but still the is been quite having an interesting game on bitcoin
Jon Gr
Jon Gr Jun 14, 2021 1:03AM ET
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They still mad Trump made them pay their dues?
 
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