As China ramps up pressure on Taiwan, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) held its first dedicated meeting for Taiwan in September, called by the North Atlantic Council, the main political decision-making body, sources said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) held its first dedicated meeting for Taiwan in September, convened by the North Atlantic Council, the main political decision-making body, sources said, as China stepped up pressure on Taiwan.
The strategy announced by NATO in June this year described China for the first time as a challenge to the 30-nation NATO.
Before the special meeting of NATO, the Beijing authorities just launched a large-scale military exercise in August in response to the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan.
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The British "Financial Times" reported that James Stavridis, a retired US general and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, said: "NATO is discussing for the first time the status of Taiwan, its democratic government, and Taiwan's role in global chip production. key role, it is noteworthy and special."
A source familiar with the September meeting said the ambassadors to NATO discussed the latest intelligence on threats to Taiwan and the possible implications for NATO members of a conflict in the Taiwan Strait.
"We were not discussing the role of NATO in the event of military action, but rather the multiple impacts that military action could have on security in the Euro-Atlantic region and on NATO more broadly," the source said.
Participants also discussed how NATO should let Beijing know about the potential consequences of military action, a discussion that has grown in importance following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The United States has urged allies in Europe and elsewhere to take the threat to Taiwan more seriously amid growing concern that Chinese President Xi Jinping could order military force against Taiwan.
For this reason, the U.S. State Department recently shared an economic analysis with its allies, which mentioned that if China blocks Taiwan, it may cost the global economy US$2.5 trillion a year.
"If there's one issue that we've discussed in and out, through and through, it's Taiwan and the scenarios that could happen and basically what we think is going to happen," said a senior European Union (EU) official.
NATO foreign ministers gathered in the Romanian capital Bucharest said they would discuss the "challenge" from China today.
A source familiar with the discussions between the United States and NATO allies believes that it is important not to overestimate NATO's actions in the Taiwan Strait conflict.
He said: "Once there is a conflict in the Taiwan Strait, the most important impact on NATO may be that if the United States has to transfer some assets to the Indo-Pacific region, European troops may have to replenish the assets of the US military in the North Atlantic. NATO is unlikely to directly Get involved in the Taiwan crisis or war.”
While some countries are reluctant to take a tougher stance, citing trade ties with China or a desire to divert attention from Ukraine, the United States is pleased that Europe is starting to take the issue more seriously.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said yesterday that the "basic principle" that NATO has shown over the Ukraine war and the Chinese challenge is that "we act together and act in unity. This is NATO's greatest strength."
NATO did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while the White House declined to comment.