China’s relations with NATO are still weak, but common interests and global threats can lead to deepening cooperation and engagement in the future.
As the world’s focus shifts towards East Asia, multilateral institutions like NATO are seeking to increase their involvement and cooperation with China.
The next years will see most, if not all, of NATO's major military operations draw down as the Alliance finds itself, for the first time in twenty years, without a major operation to run.
A slimmed down NATO could do a better job of harmonizing transatlantic positions in crisis situations, be the hub of multinational, high-end military operations, and develop expertise and capabilities to deal with new threats such as cyber attacks.
While NATO can extend the status quo in the short term, it cannot postpone resolving its defense and deterrence dilemmas without undermining Alliance confidence and cohesion.
In June, President Obama described a planned “transition period” for Afghanistan in 2014, involving an Afghan-led effort aimed at maintaining domestic stability with international support.
As NATO members approach their respective deadlines for withdrawal from Afghanistan, conditions on the ground and China’s role in the region merit greater attention and analysis.
While the United States is an important factor shaping Sino-Indian relations, the role of the United States in relations between China, India, and the countries of Central Asia receives far less attention.
As China continues its rise onto the international scene as both an economic and military power, it is imperative that communication with established multilateral security alliances such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) remain a priority in order to alleviate suspicions and avoid misinterpretations.
Today NATO faces threats of unconventional violence, such as terrorism or cyberattacks, more than threats of a conventional attack or traditional military attack.