Ana-Maria CATAUTA (Romania) - REPORT

07 October 2023

While rightly focused on the immediate task of helping Ukraine to prevail in Russia’s unjust and brutal war, the Allies must not lose sight of the systemic, long-term challenge an authoritarian and revisionist China poses to Allies’ interests, security and values as it seeks to revisit the rules-based order. Hopes that China could play a constructive role in restoring the international order disturbed by Putin’s war so far proved futile – Beijing de facto chose to side with Russia. China continues making inroads in regions across the globe, vying for leadership position in the Global South and promoting its revisionist agenda, with mixed success. It is encouraging that liberal democracies and many non-aligned countries alike have mobilised and pushed back against Chinese coercive policies.

The Euro-Atlantic community has to brace for an extended rivalry with an authoritarian China. While NATO as an organisation should continue focusing on its direct area of responsibility, Allies will need to dedicate significant resources to this rivalry. It is vital for all Allies to demonstrate solidarity and to shoulder their fair share of responsibility for Allied security and for the future of the rules-based world order. While taking seriously the issue of resilience and investing adequately in stronger defence and deterrence, the Allies should work together with like-minded partners in the Indo-Pacific as well as the EU towards establishing the guardrails of strategic competition to reduce the risk of dangerous escalation and to create space for cooperation on pressing global challenges such as climate change and nuclear non proliferation. Moreover, the Euro-Atlantic community has to prepare to meet increasing challenges to the rules-based international order in areas such as the Black Sea, the Indo Pacific as well as across the globe. 


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