NATO Deputy Secretary General visits China
The NATO Deputy Secretary General Claudio Bisogniero visited Beijing from 9 -11 November for high-level talks with the Chinese government. This was the first visit by a NATO Deputy Secretary General to China.
During the visit, the Deputy Secretary General met with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun and other government officials, as well as senior officials from the Chinese Communist Party. The Deputy Secretary General also gave a keynote speech at the China Institute for International Studies. “China is an emerging global power and NATO is leading a major stabilisation operation in Afghanistan, a country that borders China. In a world in which global risks are growing, our security interests are likely to converge more and more in the future. I believe that NATO and China should work together to meet common challenges”, the Deputy Secretary General said.
During the visit, the Deputy Secretary General discussed with his Chinese counterparts how to promote the shared peace and security interests of NATO and China, including the stability of Afghanistan and Central Asia, the fight against terrorism and the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The two sides also discussed their respective involvement in counter piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. They agreed that the NATO-China dialogue has a role in contributing to international stability and prosperity.
The Deputy Secretary General and his Chinese counterparts agreed that NATO and China should take this relationship forward in a spirit of open communication and increasing cooperation.
The NATO-China relationship goes back to 2002, with a meeting between the then NATO Secretary General and the Chinese Ambassador at the time. Since then, NATO and China have developed a political dialogue , focusing on issues of co-operative security. In this context, several NATO officials have visited China and Chinese delegations have also been welcomed at the NATO Headquarters.