NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has predicted that China will become the largest economic power in the world in the foreseeable future and competition with that rising power will intensify.
Stoltenberg made the statement while unveiling his NATO 2030 initiative at a virtual Atlantic Council Front Page event Monday.
The COVID-19 epidemic exemplifies the challenges the world can experience over the next decade, changing life globally in ways few could predict, he said.
Speaking from NATO headquarters in Brussels, the NATO secretary general said the initiative will look at global trends and their implications for the western alliance.
Stoltenberg pointed at other possible threats that NATO will face.
Russia under President Vladimir Putin will probably continue or even intensify its intransigence and adventurism, and the Islamic State and other terror groups will continue their efforts to undermine the values the West holds dear.
“This is an opportunity to reflect on where we see our alliance 10 years from now, and how it will continue to keep us safe in a more uncertain world,” Stoltenberg said.
He called on NATO allies to continue to invest in their armed forces and military capabilities.
The NATO chief stressed the need to work more closely with like-minded countries like Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea “to defend the global rules and institutions that have kept us safe for decades, to set norms and standards, in space and in cyberspace, or new technologies, and global arms control, and ultimately, to stand up for the world built on freedom and democracy, not on bullying and coercion.”
Stoltenberg said he will consult actively with “allies, civil society, the private sector and young leaders” to make the alliance more effective, and make his recommendations to NATO leaders during their summit next year.
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