Vice President Mike Pence believes nations “must adjust” if they are to deal with the growing influence of China. He was addressing an audience at the NATO Engages conference, which marks the 70th anniversary of the global organisation. According to Newsweek, Mr Pence said: “Determining how to meet the challenge of Chinese 5G technology, meet the challenge of the easy money offered by China’s Belt and Road Initiative, is a challenge European allies must contend with every day.
“Whether we like it or not the implications of China’s rise will profoundly affect the choices NATO members will face, individually and collectively.
“China’s expanding influence will necessarily demand more of America’s attention and resources, and as we meet that challenge, our European allies must do more to maintain the strength and deterrence of our transatlantic alliance with their resources.”
Since Russia took the Crimean peninsula from the Ukraine, much of NATO’s resources have focused on aggression between the two nations.
The group’s troops were deployed in places including Norway and Estonia to counter any Russian action.
However, China appears to now be within NATO’s sights.
NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence issued a report outlining the risks of the new technology being developed by China.
It reads: “The growth of Chinese technology companies has made them a global market power. This is largely a product of focused government industrial policy and funding instruments.
“Chinese companies are not only subsidized by the Chinese government but also legally compelled to work with its intelligence services.
“Whether the risk of such collaboration is real or perceived, the fear remains that adopting 5G technology from Huawei would introduce a reliance on equipment which can be controlled by the Chinese intelligence services and the military in both peacetime and crisis.”
Mr Pence’s comments come after NATO’s secretary general Jens Stoltenberg addressed Congress, claiming Russia pose a “more assertive threat”.
He cited the country’s military and use of nerve agents and cyberattacks as why the US should be concerned.
The Senate will vote later in the year to decide if North Macedonia should be allowed to become NATO’s 30th member.